The Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Ramesh Bais, faced a barrage of criticism on Thursday for saying that the rape of grown-up girls and women might be understandable but sexual assault on a minor was a heinous crime.
File photo of BJP MP Ramesh Bais from Raipur, Chhattisgarh
“Barabari ya bade logo ke sath balatkar samajh me ata hai, lekin nabalig bachhiyo ke sath is tarah ka jaghanya apradh karna… Inko to fasi par latka dena chahiye,” Bais told reporters in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday.
Bais, a six-time Lok Sabha MP from Raipur, made the remarks while referring to the alleged rape of 12 tribal minor students by a teacher and a watchman at a Chhattisgarh government-run residential school in Kanker district, about 180 km south of Raipur.
The Congress slammed Bais even as the BJP leadership distanced itself from his statement.
“Bais is a senior BJP leader and it is highly deplorable to hear such a ridiculous statement from him,” said state Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi.
In Delhi, BJP leader Balbir Punj said the age of a rape victim was of no importance. “Any woman, any child and even any aged lady needs to be treated with respect and dignity.”
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, “This could be his (Bais’s) personal view... The party will certainly be talking to him.”
Bais, however, found the support of his wife Rambai. “He is a senior leader and must have spoken sensibly after understanding the circumstances. The Congress and the media are misreading his statement,” she said.
Kolkata student molested in bus
Kolkata: A post-graduate student at the Rajabazar Science College of Calcutta University was harassed and molested by around seven youths inside a private bus in Sealdah during the Thursday morning rush hours. Stating that the woman was in her early twenties, a college official said a police complaint has been lodged. HTC
Girl abducted, raped in Rohtak
Rohtak: A six-year-old girl was kidnapped by a man on his bicycle while she was playing outside her home, and later raped in Ninan village on Thursday. The girl was later found near a roadside dhaba. Bhiwani SP Simardeep Singh said, “The victim is being treated, but she has been unable to identify the culprit.” HTC
3 arrested for sexual assault
Bhubaneswar: Police on Thursday arrested three persons for their role in three separate cases of rape and attempted rape in Rourkela, Odisha. Meanwhile, a suspected rape victim was admitted to a hospital the previous day in Sambalpur, after being rescued by local people. Police are searching for the culprits. HTC