Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi
After making controversial comments on rape, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi today clarified his statement saying he never said that rape victims should be punished. (India Votes 2014: full coverage
"I never said that the girl who is raped should be punished. I said rapist should be punished and girl is a victim. I said that all of us should show solidarity with the girl," Mr Azmi said in Mumbai. "I will never make such statement, only a mad person will say such things," he added.
On Friday, Mid-Day published a report quoting Mr Azmi as saying, "Under Islam, rape is punishable... any woman if, whether married or unmarried, goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn't be allowed even if a woman goes by consent." (Read the full article
The Samajwadi Party leader earned widespread criticism for his controversial comments, including condemnation at home from his son and daughter-in-law. (Battle 2014: Track Live Updates
Mr Azmi's son Farhan, the Samajwadi Party's candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from the Mumbai North-Central seat, said, "consensual sex is a private matter, it's a freedom given to us by the constitution."
"We cannot be discussing these things in front of TV cameras. I have spoken to my father about the comments. I stand against every person who is insulting a woman," he added.
Farhan's wife and Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia tweeted, "if wot im reading about my father in laws statements r true then me and Farhan are deeply embarrassed n ashamed...(sic)." (Shamed by father-in-law's statement, tweets Ayesha Takia
Responding to the criticism from his son and daughter-in-law, Mr Azami said today that everyone has the right to say what they feel.