At a time when women’s safety is being debated after the Badaun sisters’ rape, Maharashtra Home Minister has made another callous remark about rapes, saying, "Many crimes against women happen within the confines of homes. Is it possible to have a policeman in every household?"
Speaking in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Patil attributed the rise in rape incidents to the downslide of moral values.
He added that the number of rapes in Maharashtra was far lesser than those in other states. “Uttar Pradesh records the maximum number of crimes. 6.34 per cent rapes are committed by brother and father, 6.65 per cent rapes by close relatives, 42 per cent by known persons, 40 per cent rapes committed by luring for marriage,” he said.
He also went on to blame obscene images in advertisements, which are aired on television. The Home Minister said, "Rise in atrocities against women due to obscene images used in advertisements."
Patil added that in an attempt to safeguard the citizens of Maharashtra, the government was going to buy 500 new police vehicles with one police officer each.
He also said that a special squad of 200 women commandos would soon be appointed to curb chain snatching.
However, soon after he made the comments, Patil was slammed from all corners, some even demanding that he resign. Vinod Tawde of the Bharatiya Janata Party described the minister as an "abject failure" in containing crimes against women. "There is no need to post a constable at every home. The Home Minister's work should be such that one policeman is able to control 10,000 people. Maharashtra police had this kind of mettle which is not there ever since the present minister assumed office," he said.
Poonam Mahajan also hit out at Patil. "The Congress-NCP government has been in Maharashtra for 15 years, and as long as it is there, crime against women cannot be stopped. Four months from now, there would come a change (after assembly elections) and women's safety would then top the government's agenda," she said.
Following the uproar, Patil trying to defend himself said, "I was misquoted. Maharashtra continues to be a safe state for women. I have said that safety of women was, is, and will always be our top priority. If there are deficiencies, those would be dealt with."
About his comment that policeman cannot be deployed in every home, Patil said, "Ensuring stringent punishment to the perpetrators is our duty. We would see to it that they are given exemplary punishment, like in Shakti Mills rape case, so that nobody dares to commit rape."
With inputs from PTI
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