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Karnataka home minister: 'Girl should not have gone there, Congress trying to rape me'

August 26, 2021 21:11 IST

Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra's statements that the gang-rape victim and her male friend should not have gone to the deserted place, and his claims that the opposition Congress was trying to "rape" him, by targeting him, following the incident has evoked sharp reactions from the Congress.

IMAGE: NSUI members hold a protest against the Karnataka government’s alleged inaction in the Mysuru gangrape incident, in Bengaluru, August 26, 2021. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo.

He also accused the Congress of trying to gain political mileage from such an "inhuman" incident.

 

Hitting out at the Home Minister and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress said they are "incapable" of protecting the people of the state.

"Around 7-7:30 pm (on Tuesday) they (the victim and male friend) had gone there, it is a deserted place, they should not have gone, but we can't stop anyone from going, they have gone. It is a deserted place and no one usually goes there as no one will be there," Jnanendra said in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters, he said there are concerns about lack of police patrolling in such places, and that he was going to Mysuru and will discuss with officials to rectify the lapses.

Reacting to opposition Congress's criticism on the law and order situation in the state after the gang-rape incident, the minister 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."

"When such incidents happen, instead of exerting pressure to see it from a humanitarian perspective and detect (the culprits), attempts are on to get political mileage in such a situation. People will see it. I will not say much on this. Instructions have been given on what has to be done by the police, so that such things don't recur and we are at it," he added.

Attacking the home minister for his statement, state Congress President D K Shivakumar urged the police to arrest his partymen involved in "raping the home minister", whether it is him or Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah or any other leader.

"He (home minister) has claimed that Congress was raping him, he is using the word rape very lightly...it seems he likes that word. I seek the response of BJP leaders on this statement. When home minister is saying that Congress is raping him, what is the administration of the state doing," he said.

Targeting Jnanendra for his comment that the victim should not have gone to deserted place, the Congress party said, "Home minister, you have the onus of protecting the state, are you not ashamed of making such a shabby remark?"

"With this statement he has agreed that it was dangerous to venture out even at 7:30 pm under a BJP rule," it said.

Pointing out that it has been nearly 48 hours since the incident happened and no arrest has been made, Shivakumar said it is a shame on the police department, and the party was concerned about the image of Karnataka.

He said the party is constituting a team to look into the incident, under the Chairmanship of former MP V S Ugrappa and they will visit Mysuru and submit a report, and the party will do everything possible to get justice for the victim.

A college girl was raped by five men near Chamundi Hill in Mysuru late on Tuesday, and the incident came to light on Wednesday.

The girl and her male friend, who was assaulted by the gang, are undergoing treatment in a private hospital. Earlier in the day, Jnanendra said that the government and the police department have taken the gang-rape incident in Mysuru "seriously" and all efforts are on to nab the culprits.

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