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BJP MP okay with adult rapes

india Updated: Jan 11, 2013 01:12 IST
Ejaz Kaiser


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.

“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.

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