Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Taneti Vanitha’s comments on a recent gang rape incident at Repalle Railway Station have sparked a row.
She stated that the accused had not come there with the intention to rape the woman. “They were drunk and they attacked the man to rob him. When she tried to save her husband, they pushed and tied her and in the process, something happened,” she said while talking to reporters.
Vanitha also remarked that certain incidents happen unwittingly due to psychological reasons or poverty.
Her comments came after a woman was gang raped at Repalle Railway Station in Bapatla district on the night of April 30. Three persons, including a juvenile, attacked the man at the railway station and when her wife tried to save him, they pulled her aside and raped her. Police have arrested the accused.
This was the second gang rape in less than two weeks. A mentally challenged woman was gang raped at government hospital in Vijayawada on April 19-20. The victim was confined to a room in the hospital and sexually assaulted for 30 hours by three contract employees of the hospital.
The Minister’s comments evoked strong criticism from the opposition parties.
BJP’s state General Secretary S. Vishnuvardhan Reddy wondered how the Home Minister, being a woman, could make such reckless comments.
This is the second time in recent days that the Home Minister has made controversial comments in the wake of increasing number of atrocities on women. She earlier had blamed mothers for not being responsible for the upbringing of their children.
“Without the mothers fulfilling their responsibility, it’s not right to blame police or government for such incidents,” she had said.
Reacting to this, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, while addressing a meeting in Visakhapatnam on Thursday, asked: “In that case, what comments should be made against Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s mother considering his case and dubious record?”
TDP women’s wing Chairperson V. Anitha also reacted to the Home Minister’s remarks. “If mothers are responsible for the child’s conduct, is Y.S. Vijayamma not responsible for Jagan Reddy being in jail for 16 months,” she asked.