Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Thursday, August 26, stirred controversy with his remarks on the Mysuru gang-rape incident. The minister's comments served as a reminder of 'blame the victim instead of holding the accused accountable' mindset plaguing the Indian society.
"Around 7-7:30 pm (on Tuesday) they (the survivor and male friend) had gone there. It is a deserted place, they should not have gone. But we can't stop anyone from going," the minister said while addressing a press conference, as reported by India Today.
With no arrests yet in the case, the Karnataka government has been on the receiving end. Ministers from the Opposition parties have been critical of the law and order situation in the state after the incident.
Reacting to the criticism, Jnanendra had said, "Rape has happened there (in Mysuru), but the Congress was trying to rape me, they are trying to rape the Home Minister. They are trying to gain political mileage. It is an inhuman act."
Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai disapproved of the comments made by the Home Minister and reportedly advised him to issue a clarification.
Soon after, Jnanendra withdrew his statements and apologised. He further added that the gang rape survivor was like "his daughter".
"I had no intention to hurt anybody and withdraw my statement. I have also withdrawn the statement made earlier on the Congress party leaders," he said, as per the India Today report.
Ex-Women Commission Chairperson Blames The Victim
Karnataka State Women's Commission former chairperson Manjula Manasa's comments on the incident also made headlines when she said she was 'disgusted and ashamed' of the rape survivor.
According to an ABP report, Manasa had blamed the victim for visiting the isolated place at night with her boyfriend and said that the woman should have shown some responsibility.
Manasa, who is a spokesperson of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), also slammed the police department for delay in filing of FIR.
What Was The Incident?
A 23-year-old MBA student from Uttar Pradesh was allegedly gang-raped near the Chamundi Hills in Mysuru on Tuesday night, August 25. The accused had also assaulted the woman's male friend and both have been admitted to the hospital. The Chief Minister had communicated about the formation of a special team to investigate the matter and to bring the perpetrators to justice.