Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday blamed migrants living in Delhi's unauthorised colonies for the capital's rising crime graph. His comments drew flak from the opposition, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), as well as his own Congress.
The home minister said there was a "decline in crime in Delhi…Crime takes place because Delhi attracts a large number of migrants".
"There are a large number of unauthorised colonies, and these migrants who settle in unauthorised colonies, carry a kind of behaviour which is unacceptable in any modern city. So crimes do take place," Chidambaram told reporters outside parliament.
But he did not contextualise the statement or specify on what grounds he was speaking and blaming outsiders for the crime in the capital.
The remarks come as a teenager was forced into a car and raped on Saturday evening. This is the fourth case of gangrape in the last month, shocking Delhiites and raising concerns over the safety of women in the capital.
Chidambaram’s accusation on migrants invited criticism from his own party and opposition members.
"Chidambaram is not aware of the facts," said Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit, who is the son of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and in whose East Delhi parliamentary constituency a number of migrants are believed to reside.
The BJP’s S S Ahluwalia said the home minister's statement was "irresponsible".
"This is an irresponsible statement from Chidambaram and condemnable. The Congress government is trying to pass the buck for its failures," Ahulwalia said.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad said law and order of the city was the home minister's responsibility and the rising crime rate was "Chidambarm’s failure". "I disapprove of the statement of the home minister," Lalu Prasad said.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav also blamed the home minister for "trying to hide his failures".