Bengaluru: Adding insult to injury, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra Thursday said the MBA student, reportedly from Mumbai, who was allegedly gang-raped by goons near Mysuru on Tuesday night should not have been travelling in a desolated area at 7.30 pm with her friend.
The Minister’s insensitivity did not stop there. Reacting to the Opposition’s allegations of the government’s handling of the law and order situation in the state, Jnanendra said, “The Congress is trying to rape me, they are trying to rape the Home Minister”.
He defended his comments later when a Kannada news channel sought his reaction. He said that he was just joking when he made the statement and there should be no politics played over it.
In Delhi, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai disapproved of the comments made by Jnanendra. "I just don't agree with the comments made by my Home Minister regarding the gang-rape incident. I have advised him to give a clarification," the chief minister said.
"It's an unfortunate incident. My government has taken it seriously. The perpetrators will be caught soon and brought to justice. I have directed the officials to pursue the matter seriously and update me on the developments. Once the DGP (Director General of Police) and I reach Bengaluru, we will immediately form a special team," he added.
Congress state president DK Shivakumar told the media that “He (Araga Jnanendra) seems to be using the term rape very casually. I will not seek a response from him but will ask the leaders of his party to respond to this statement of the Home Minister.”
But Shivakumar too managed to add an insensitive comment. While continuing to attack the Home Minister, DKS said, “If there are any Congress leaders who are raping the Home Minister, I demand that they be booked under the relevant section of the IPC. Whoever it may be, it could be Ugrappa, me or even Siddaramaiah”.
Meanwhile, the Mysuru police are yet to make an arrest in the case. The survivor is under medical treatment and is unable to give a statement as of now since she is in shock.
Mysuru Police Commissioner Dr Chandragupta has remained tightlipped over the probe.
Sources said the police are hopeful of nabbing the culprits tracing their cell phone data. “The area is dotted with bushes and is a hub of new construction activities. Lately the area has become dangerous for bikers too with some being stopped by inebriated men. We are suspecting that the accused are local youths or construction workers who were there at the spot,” a police officer was quoted in the media.
The National Commission for Women has asked the Karnataka government to identify all the accused and arrest them.