NEW DELHI: Yet another male politician is in the dock for sounding off about victims of rape. On Thursday, MPs in the Rajya Sabha demanded the summary sacking of a Rajasthan minister for questioning the integrity of gang-raped student. The Centre assured the Rajya Sabha that it would convey the concerns to the state government for corrective steps.
Rajasthan’s home minister Gulab Chand Kataria came under fire in the Rajya Sabha for asking why the family of a 13-year-old girl of Bikaner waited a year to bring forth allegations that she was raped by eight teachers in April 2015.
Kataria is a former teacher and a lawyer by training with a postgraduate degree in geography. He has five daughters.
“I do not find it normal that a young girl raped by eight men would fail to inform her parents of the incident the same day. It does not make much sense to me and I say this after years of experience,” Kataria said to media persons last Saturday.
The incident came to light only last Friday after the girl’s father alleged in a complaint to the superintendent of police of Bikaner that his daughter had been raped by eight teachers, who also made a video of the act.
The Bikaner was the subject of an uproar in the Rajya Sabha with a woman MP of Janata Dal (U) invoking the Prime Minister’s attention to the matter. Kahkashan Perween raised the matter during Zero Hour. “I am confident that the Prime Minister gives a lot of respect to women. If he does so, then this (Rajasthan) minister should be sacked immediately,” she said.
For the government, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukthar Abbas Naqvi said, “Any such statement cannot be justified.
It should be condemned if it is true. The National Women’s Commission has given him a notice. Simulataneously, the Centre will convey the sentiments of this House to the state government so that it takes corrective steps.”
At one point, women lawmakers trooped into the Well of the House raising slogans against Kataria’s “insensitive” remarks. Soon male members too joined them.
Kataria’s comments have sparked outrage on social media, and it has come to light that the 13-year-old victim was suffering from cancer.