Amid a nationwide outrage over rising incidents of rape and insensitive comments by political leaders, Chhattisgarh's home minister has come with his bizarre interpretation of a rapist's act claiming sexual assaults are not "deliberate".
"Balatkar jaisi ghatna ko koi janbujhkar nahi karta hai. Dhoke se sab karte hai (No one commits rape deliberately. It is committed by deceit)," state home minister Ram Sevak Paikra told media persons in Raipur on Saturday.
As bizarre it was, the minister's comment was also incomprehensible as to what he exactly meant by it. However, despite repeated attempts, the minister could not be reached for further clarification on his incongruous remark.
His statement, apparently suggesting that such heinous crime against women is not carried out deliberately, is sure to cause embarrassment to the BJP government in the state.
Paikra is the second BJP leader to have stoked a controversy by his remark after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur described rape as a social crime which was "sometimes right, sometimes wrong".
The two BJP leaders' comments have come after the gruesome gang-rape and murder of two sisters in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun.
However, like Paikra, leaders of Chhattisgarh have a history of such insensitive remarks.
Only last month, the state women and child development minister Ramshila Sahu had held God responsible for the upsurge in cases of jaundice (viral hepatitis infection) that has so far led to nearly fifty deaths in the state. And the health minister Amar Agrawal had blamed the "ignorant" people.
In July, 2012, no less a person than chief minister Raman Singh himself had made a case for punishing the father for any crime of his son.
"The son inherits his father's DNA, blood and character," was the justification given by Singh.
In January, 2013, then home minister Nanki Ram Kanwar had blamed the "inauspicious stars" for the high incidents of rape being reported from across the nation.
The home minister, however, did express concern over the rising cases of rapes in the state and felt the need for reform in the cultural values of the society.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress strongly criticised Paikra's remark.
"The minister's statement is unfortunate and condemnable. He should apologise to the women and the people of the state," the leader of opposition TS Singdeo said.Watch: No one commits rape deliberately says Chhattisgarh home minister
Chhattisgarh home minister Ram Sevak Paikra