BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki, Ranjeet Srivastava, has sparked outrage on Twitter for his "shameful" comments in connection with the Hathras alleged gang-rape case. In the video going viral on social media, Srivastava has alleged that the 19-year-old Dalit girl "must have called her boyfriend to the field".
"The victim must have called the boy to the field because they were having an affair. This news is already out on social media and news channels. She must have got caught after that." However, the BJP leader did not stop there. He claimed that "such women are found dead in a few specific spots".
"Such girls are found dead in only some places. They will be found dead in sugarcane, corn and millet fields or in bushes, gutters or forests. Why are they never found dead in paddy or wheat fields?" he asked.
Srivastava goes on to defend the four men accused of the crime, saying they should be released from prison till the CBI files a charge sheet in the case. "I can say with guarantee these boys are innocent. If they are not released in time, they will keep facing mental harassment. Who will return their lost youth? Will the government give them compensation?" he demanded.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday has summoned the BJP leader for his offensive remarks. The NCW said it has sent a notice to Srivastava, asking him to appear before it on October 26 at 11 am to give an explanation.
The commission tweeted, "@NCWIndia strongly condemns the offensive and defamatory remarks made by political leader #RanjeetSrivastava regarding the #Hathras victim. The Commission has sent him a notice directing him to appear before NCW on October 26th at 11 AM to give an explanation."
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said Srivastava is "not fit" to be called the leader of any party. "He is showing his primitive and sick mindset and I am going to send notice to him," she added.
Twitter users called out the BJP leader for his "shameful" comments. "shameless man. wonder if the women who support his party will call him out," a Twitter user said.
"#HatrasCase as usual the #bjp insensitive leaders blame women for rapes wht else can b expected from the RSS and #bJP mindset who r just always shielding rapists AsaramBapu , godmen, Naliyakand,Sengar , Kathua , was UP bjp HM Chinmayananda rapists,murderers Bihargovt shelterhome(sic)," wrote actor Nagma.
Here are a few Twitter reactions:
(With input from agencies)