A controversy broke out on Sunday over activist Kiran Bedi's remarks accusing the media of playing up "small rape" cases, with an incensed National Commission for Women demanding an apology from the former IPS officer.
The remarks were made when the former IPS officer accused the media of ignoring corruption allegations against United Progressive Alliance's ministers and not giving adequate coverage to the issue despite erstwhile Team Anna giving evidence regarding it.
"Thankfully, the media does not discuss it (allegations) a single time. Ask yourself. On a small rape case or assault which a low ranking police official commits, how you would discuss it," she said.
"But against 15 ministers, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal had given the evidence but nobody from among you media hold any debate or discussion over the issue. Tell me, why you haven't done that? Do you fear them," she told reporters on the sidelines of yoga guru Ramdev's fast.
Terming Bedi's remarks as "distressing", NCW member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar said the Commission will issue a notice to her on Monday after taking suo motu cognisance of the remarks.
"Bedi is a woman and a former police officer. She should have shown extreme sensitivity while talking about a serious crime like rape. There is nothing like a small rape. A rape is a rape and should be viewed as a crime against humanity," Prabhavalkar said in a statement.
"It is distressing that Bedi showed utter lack of sensitivity on a serious issue. It shows her feudal mentality. I demand an immediate apology from her," Prabhavalkar said, adding, "The NCW has decided to take suo motu cognisance of Bedi's statement. It will issue a notice to her on Monday."
After her remarks created a furore, Bedi tweeted that "deliberate wrong news" was being circulated to distract people from knowing what she said.
"I never said rape is a small crime. I said when a small ranked person commits a rape, he is hung while big ones go scot-free. It was about comparative punishment. Small officer (not small rape) involved in rape is hung while big ones go scot-free," Bedi said.