LUCKNOW: In a controversial remark, Uttar Pradesh Governor Aziz Qureshi on Monday said incidents of rapes could not be stopped even if the entire police force was deployed for women’s safety and only divine intervention could check such crimes.
The governor’s statement came in the wake of several recent incidents of rape and murder of women in Uttar Pradesh. With this statement, the governor joins a list of politicians who have been giving uncharitable remarks on rapes in the state. Former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav earlier said rapes were “minor mistakes committed by youngsters” and that laws sending rapists to the gallows must be quashed.
After last week’s rape and murder in Lucknow that caused considerable outrage, the Samajwadi Party chief attributed growing crimes against women to the rising population. His brother and PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav later endorsed his views. Asked about the failing law and order after the Badaun incident, where two minor girls were gang-raped and then hung from a tree, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had snapped at a woman reporter: “You are safe… so why are you asking the question?” Later in the evening, Qureshi sought to clarify his remarks, saying he was quoted out of context.
“For stopping crime against women there is a need to change the mentality of society and stern action needs to be taken against culprits. That is why I was stressing that the entire police force cannot check rape,’’ he told another TV channel. The governor’s remarks have come in for severe condemnation. Ram Naik is scheduled to take over from Qureshi on Tuesday as the Governor.