Rajasthan parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal’s crude remarks trying to explain away the rise in rape cases in state has drawn the opposition’s ire. Facing backlash, the minister has apologised for his remarks, claiming it was a “slip of tongue”.
The minister was replying to a question on the need for more grants, funds and facilities by the police department in the wake of rising rape cases, when he made the unpleasant comment.
“I was answering a question on the grants given to the police department when some unfortunate words came out of my mouth, I realised my mistake and asked for my remarks to be expunged. It was a slip of the tongue for which I apologise,” he said in a clarification.
What’s worse is that some ministers laughed when he made the distasteful remarks. The opposition immediately protested and the speaker ordered the remarks to be expunged, meaning they could not go on record or be published anywhere.
But a video of the same is now being widely circulated on social media.
The BJP’s women wing held a protest outside the minister’s residence demanded his resignation.
Former minister for women and child welfare Anita Bhadel said the comments by a senior minister from the Ashok Gehlot cabinet were shameful and has brought disrepute to the state.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau or the NCRB data, Rajasthan has registered the highest number of rape cases in 2020- 2021.
The number of Rape FIRs registered in 2020-2021 was 5,310 in Rajasthan, the highest in the country. It was followed by Uttar Pradesh.
Police officials say the number of cases increased after 2019, when the Ashok Gehlot government made it mandatory to register all rape FIRs.