National Commission for Women (NCW) member Chandramukhi Devi on Thursday, January 7, stirred a controversy when she said that the gangrape and murder of a 50-year-old Anganwadi worker in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun could have been avoided if the victim had not stepped out alone during odd hours in the evening.
Chandramukhi was part of a two-member team that was sent by the commission to meet the family and seek details on the incident. However, her victim-blaming remarks highlighted the existing prejudices against women and passing on the buck to the women for the crime instead of the perpetrators.
"A woman should not go out at odd hours under the influence of somebody. I think if she had not gone out in the evening, or had some family member along with her, this could have been prevented," she had told the reporters. A video of her comments has been going viral on social media.
Pointing out laxity on the part of the police department, she had also said that she was unhappy with their role in the incident, adding that if the police would have shown swiftness in the matter, perhaps they could have saved the victim.
Chandramukhi, later, withdrew her comments and said that it was taken out of context.
However, before her clarification, NCW Chief Rekha Sharma who also had to face the ire on social media said that she did not agree with the remarks of the commissions' member.
Responding to a tweet by filmmaker Pooja Bhatt, NCW Chief said, "I don't know how and why the member has said this but women have all the right move on their will whenever and wherever they want to," she said. "It's [the] society and state's duty to make places safe for women."
On Sunday, January 3, a 50-year-old woman who worked as an Anganwadi worker was brutally gang-raped and murdered by a temple priest and his two aides in Badaun district.
The post-mortem report of the deceased confirmed that she suffered injuries after an iron rod was inserted into her private parts and her leg was also fractured. According to the report, the woman's ribs were broken and her left lung suffered damage during the assault. The woman's death was attributed to excessive bleeding and shock.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a swift investigation and instructed authorities to take strict action against the accused. Meanwhile, the station-in charge was suspended for negligence of the duty as the family alleged a delay in filing FIR by the police officers.
Also Read: When Rape Does Not Matter