Mulayam stokes controversy with 'gangrape is impractical' remark

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh on Tuesday stokes a fresh controversy by saying that while one person commits rape, four are named in the complaint even though rape by four persons is not 'practically' possible

Lucknow: SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has kicked a fresh controversy with his comments on rape, saying while one man commits rape, four are named to "settle scores" and that rape by four persons was not "practical".

This is not the first time that the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has made shocking comments on rape. While opposing capital punishment for rape last year, he had sparked outrage by saying "ladke, ladke hain...galti ho jati hai (boys will be boys...they commit mistakes)."

Speaking on the law and order situation in the state at a function here, Yadav had said considering UP's population, the crime rate was "very low".

The SP supremo said that there were instances where only one person committed rape but the victim named four people merely to "settle scores".

"Innocent persons must not be implicated and harassed. There are cases, where a victim has accused four brothers of raping her. It is not practical," he said.

Mulayam Singh Yadav
Mulayam Singh Yadav 

To stress his point, Yadav cited the alleged rape and murder case of two cousin sisters in Badaun stating that it was "blown out of proportion". 

"The CBI probed the case and found out that rape was not committed at all. They were cold-blooded murders by the victim's cousins for property," he said.

"But even senior leaders like Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son Rahul rushed to Badaun and attacked the state government on the law and order front," he said. 

Yadav's comments triggered a row with the BJP saying that the remarks were an "insult" to the fair sex and raise questions over the decisions given by courts in gangrape cases.

BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, "There is nothing new in it. In the past also on the issue of rape, the SP supremo had said that youths tend to make mistakes. By giving this logic, Mulayam had showed insensitivity towards half of the population of the country. 

"Such a statement is a gross insult to the fair sex and will ultimately lead to anarchy. It also raises question mark over decisions given by the courts in gangrape cases," Pathak said.

He alleged that it was an outburst of a leader, whose own party government, was "failing" to control law and order situation in the state.

"You can imagine the situation of a state where workers of the ruling party are acting like goons and rouges," he charged.

Congress said it would have been better if Mulayam had advised his son Akhilesh Yadav's government to take stern action against anti-social elements, instead of making such a statement.

"The biggest thing is that such a statement reflects SP supremo's disrespect towards women. Such a statement would embolden elements involved in crime against women specially rape cases," Congress spokesman Diwjendra Tripathi said.

"It would have been better, if he would have advised the government being run by his son to act tough against such elements," he said.

Senior RLD leader Anil Dubey said the comment was only an attempt to mislead the people.

"If the government is failing to check rumours, then it menas that it has also failed to check crime," he said.

With the UP government facing criticism over law and order situation, the SP supremo had yesterday hit out at the opposition saying an effort was being made to "defame" it and smear campaign was being run against it due to "political enmity".

"Effort to defame the government is made due to political enmity," Yadav had charged. 

Terming the SP chief's statement as "childish", senior BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya claimed it would boost the morale of 'goonda' and mafia elements. 

"The statement of SP chief is childish and will boost the morale of goonda and mafia elements," Maurya, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said.

"As there is complete freedom in the state to commit crime and loot people, this statement is like a message that no one dare make an attempt to lay their hands on such elements," Maurya said.

The BSP leader said the new definition of socialist is "jitna bada aparadhi, utna bada samajwadi".

Women activists slam Mulayam over gang-rape remark

Bengaluru/Jaipur: Women activists on Wednesday condemned Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's remark that 'gang-rape is impractical' and said that this was an attempt by him to tone down the number of similar cases being reported from Uttar Pradesh.

"Every now and then, we come across these incidents. He (Mulayam Singh) does not know how to escape from it. This is one of the waste parts that he wants to say," said women activist Pramila Nesargi.

She insisted that unless a gang-rape takes place, no women in the world would come out with a story that such an incident took place with her.

Another women activist Kavita Srivastava said the Samajwadi Party chief, who is the leader of the male dominant and patriarchal society and culture, always thinks that women are liars.

"He is assuming that sexual violence against women doesn't take place and they (women) are always lying. He thinks that rapes can take place but gang-rapes are impractical," Srivastava told ANI in Jaipur.

"I want to advise Mulayam Singh to have an honest conversation with the female members of his family to understand the plight of women. The problem is that he is far away from the point of view of women and from her experiences," she added.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister had earlier in April this year stirred a controversy with his remark that boys commit mistakes and they should not be hanged for it. "Boys make mistakes. They should not hang for this. We will revoke the anti-rape laws," he said at a public meeting in Moradabad.

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