An Indian official who sparked nationwide controversy by calling for bikinis to be banned in popular tourist resort of Goa, after linking the swim wear to sexual crimes, restated his demand on Thursday.
Asked whether the view he expressed earlier this month remained the same, Goa public works department minister, Sudin Dhavalikar, told reporters: “I have [already] given my intention.
"You can have on private places whatever you want, in public places it should be banned”.
The city, almost 2,000km from the capital New Delhi, is a popular holiday destination, attracting 3 million tourists annually - almost 120,000 of whom are British.
Earlier this month, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak party member caused a national furore when he suggested that women who wear bikinis made themselves vulnerable to sexual attacks, and said women should not visit bars dressed in short skirts.
“We should not allow girls with bikinis to enter public places because it is very difficult to control people who arrive in Goa from different states.
“By the time the victim reaches the police it is too late. It is better to control such type of activities on the beaches,” he said, the Guardian reported.
His comments saw him faced with a media backlash, while members of the opposition Congress party sent Dhavalikar a short skirt in protest.
But Goa’s chief minister, Manohar Parrikar, said he found nothing objectionable in his comments, the Times of India reported.
The position of women in India has been a topic of fierce debate since 2012, when a young woman was attacked and gang raped on a bus in Delhi. She died ten days later from her injuries in a hospital in Singapore where she had been sent in a desperate effort to save her life.