Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently stirred a controversy after he allegedly justified the rape incidents in India. Speaking at a function in Kalka town of Panchkula district on November 16, Khattar said that in 80-90 percent of rape and harassment cases, the accused and the victim know each other. He said that after the couple comes to know each other and spend time together, and later when an argument or fight breaks out between them, the victim accuses her partner of rape.
The CM also reportedly said that the incidents of rape have not increased, ‘they used to take place in the past and even today as well’, and that only the concern over such incidents has increased.
Well, the statement was released in a video by the news agency ANI on November 17, where the chief minister can be heard saying that in most rape cases, the victim is known to the accused and the complaint is over an argument.
#WATCH:Haryana CM ML Khattar says,“Sabse badi chinta yeh hai ki yeh ghatnayein jo hain rape aur Chhed chhad ki, 80-90% jankaro ke beech mein hoti hai.Kafi samay ke liye Ikhatte ghumte hain, ek din anban hogai, uss din utha karke FIR karwa dete hain ‘isne mujhe rape kiya’.”(15.11) pic.twitter.com/jZWy3h3fK2
— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2018
However, at a time when the country has been battling with the issues of rape and crimes against women, and nothing much has been done or improved across the country, it seems that the rape incidents remark by the Haryana CM has stirred quite a controversy not just among the political parties but also among the citizens of the country.
While Manohar Lal Khattar might be right in saying that in most rape or harassment cases the accused and victim know each other, we cannot lose sight of those cases that happened to children or the minors and those which went unreported.
According to the NCRB data 2016, as reported by The Indian Express, the rate of crimes against women in Gurgaon and Faridabad are reflective of a wider trend in Haryana, which recorded 1,187 rape cases under the IPC that year. These included 996 cases of rape and 191 of gangrape. And of these, as many as 518 victims were said to be minors.
Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have sternly condemned Mr. Khattar’s remarks. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet said that the Haryana CM was justifying the act of rape.
अगर किसी प्रदेश के CM ऐसा सोचते हैं, तो वहाँ लड़कियाँ सुरक्षित कैसे हो सकती हैं? CM साहिब रेप को justify कर रहे हैं। यही कारण है की हरियाणा में रेप बढ़ रहे हैं और बलात्कारी पकड़े नहीं जाते, खुले घूम रहे हैं। https://t.co/Il6Fwgf1xj
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 18, 2018
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Khattar has made an utterly condemnable remark and he should apologize.
‘Anti-Women’ Mindset of Khattar Govt Exposed!
Haryana CM Khattarji makes an utterly condemnable remark-
“Most girls who interact with boys,get raped,80% rape happen with consent”
Blaming Women for complete failures to control Rapes & Gangrapes?Deplorable!
CM should apologise pic.twitter.com/CEscTepfsR
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) November 17, 2018
However, Manohar Lal Khattar’s controversial remark has left netizens divided. While many defended the chief minister saying he is right with the facts, and that the government must stop misusing gender biased laws, others called it shameful and misogynistic.
First time a CM speaking the truth about fake cases?
First time a CM dare to speak truth about #Fakecases in India. He is speaking as per our NCRB data.
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— Shivank Dixit (@ShivankDixit15) November 17, 2018
Congratulating CM for speaking the truth!
Congrats for speaking the truth. Every data from last decade speaks of the same. Lets stand behind real victims n not fakers.
Now all the feminists who keep quiet on their own abuse by their collegues will attack him.
— swarnim bharat (@a_sandhan) November 17, 2018
Khattar got the guts to call a spade a spade!
What’s th problem if @mlkhattar has guts to call a spade, a spade. Large number of #FakeRape cases r being filed, th law being misused 2 satisfy personal vengeance & as extortion tool.
Is a minister always expected 2 go ga-ga over #womenempowerment ignoring real serious issues?
— Amit Lakhani (@TheAmitLakhani) November 18, 2018
Stop misusing Indian gender biased laws!
— Men’s rights activist (@PSingh76633752) November 18, 2018
What about raping minors?
What about relatives raping little children? Rape of infants? Lets not trivialize, generalise
— meetu jain (@meetujain) November 17, 2018
— Geet V (@geetv79) November 17, 2018
— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) November 17, 2018
He should resign!
This is really shameful!! @mlkhattar should resign because of his failure to maintain law and order in the state, instead he is doing mockery of such shameful crimes.
— Jaswinder Singh Bisla (@JaswinderBisla) November 17, 2018
Manohar Lal Khattar, however, defended his remarks and gave a clarification on November 18 saying that he did not say that there is consent in the reported cases of rape but that in most cases, the victim and the perpetrator know each other. He further said that his statement was borne out of facts from investigations.
Meanwhile, NCRB data 2016 reveals that crimes against women have been on the rise since 2014, with 9,010 cases under the Indian Penal Code and Special and Local Laws (SLL) being registered in 2014; 9,511 in 2015; and 9,839 in 2016.