'Law is not bad, people's mentality is...' Rajasthan CM Gehlot slammed over rape remarks
Citing the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape incident, which later came to be known as the 'Nirbhaya' case, Gehlot said cases of murder after rape have increased in the country following the law providing death sentence for rape convicts came into force. Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother, termed the statement as very embarrassing and painful, especially to those families and girls who have been victims of such heinous crimes.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot continued to receive flak from the Opposition as well as activists for his remarks at a press conference in Delhi on Friday, where he said that the cases of murder after rape have increased in the country following the law providing the death sentence for rape convicts came into force. Gehlot said when the rapist sees that the girl could become a witness tomorrow, he not only rapes but also kills her.
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday said that the remarks were part of the Rajasthan chief minister's tactics to hide his government's failures to curb rising incidents of atrocities against girls in the state.
Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat termed the remarks as "unfortunate". The minister said that Rajasthan had become the centre for atrocities against young innocent girls in the last three years.
Calling the chief minister's statement shameful, Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly Rajendra Rathore said that Gehlot could not escape his government's failure in curbing rising rape cases in the state by making absurd statements.
Citing December 16, 2012, Delhi gang rape incident, which later came to be known as the 'Nirbhaya' case, Gehlot called it a very dangerous trend that is happening across the country. But the chief minister seemed to have ignored the National Crime Records Bureau 2020 statistic, which showed that Rajasthan had earned the notoriety of registering the highest number of rape cases in the country, followed by Uttar Pradesh.
Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother, termed the statement as very embarrassing and painful, especially to those families and girls who have been victims of such heinous crimes.
"Even before the provision came, girls were murdered. This shows their (CM Gehlot) mentality of supporting culprits while they don't have sympathy for victims. The law isn't bad; people's mentality is. He must apologise & should give his resignation," Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother
Reacting to the CM's statement, BJP leader Rathore claimed that between January 2020 and January 2022, a total of 4,091 cases had been registered under the POCSO Act. He claimed that the erstwhile BJP government in the state had brought the provision of capital punishment to those accused of raping a minor. "Unfortunately, the chief minister is now opposing the provision of capital punishment," he said.
The Leader of the Opposition claimed that 16 incidents of rape have been taking place in Rajasthan every day, but according to Gehlot, 48 per cent of rape cases are false. "The Chief Minister is boosting the morale of brutal rapists by making such statements again and again rather than breaking them.
Shashikant Sharma, OSD to Gehlot, blamed the BJP for distorting the chief minister's statement. Sharing a video of Gehlot, another OSD, Lokesh Sharma, said, "Listen and understand... CM Gehlot expressed concern over the increasing trend of the murder of rape victims across the country. The form in which he spoke is being made a matter of controversy without any reason. He called it a dangerous trend which is a matter of concern for all."