A senior minister from India’s ruling party has been urged to apologise after he said that rapes happen “accidentally”.
Ramsevak Paikra, the minister responsible for law and order in India’s central Chhattisgarh state, made the remarks as he spoke to journalists, according to AFP.
“Such incidents (rapes) do not happen deliberately. These kind of incidents happen accidentally,” he said late on Saturday.
India's state congress chief Bhupesh Baghel today said that Paikra should apologise for his "irresponsible statement", according to The Economic Times.
Paikra, who is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was asked for his views on gang-rape when he made the comments.
His remark comes days after the BJP’s home minister Babulal Guar claimed rapes were “sometimes right, sometimes wrong”, according to Reuters.
Indians have demanded greater protection for women from sexual violence following widespread outrage over the gang-rape and murder of two teenage girls, aged 12 and 14, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state last month.
Paikra’s and Guar’s comments are just the latest in a series of controversial remarks made by Indian lawmakers.
In the recent election, Mulayam Singh Yadav, head of the regional Samajwadi Party that runs Uttar Pradesh, criticised legal changes that foresee the death penalty for gang rape, saying: "Boys commit mistakes: Will they be hanged for rape?"
Gaur expressed sympathy for this viewpoint – but the BJP dismissed his comments as an expression of his personal views, and not the party's.
Modi, who was sworn in as prime minister last week after a landslide election victory, has so far remained silent over the double killing in the village of Katra Shahadatganj, around half a day's drive east of New Delhi.