- HT Sangliana said Asha Devi has "good physique" at an event last week
- He also "advised" women "if you are overpowered, you should surrender"
- The comments have provoked all-round anger and criticism
At a function in Bengaluru last week to honour women, Mr Sangliana had shared the stage with Asha Devi, the mother of the 23-year-old student whose fatal gang-rape on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012 scarred the nation forever.
"I see Nirbhaya's mother, she has such a good physique. I can just imagine how beautiful Nirbhaya would have been," Mr Sangliana, 74, reportedly said, leaving his audience speechless with shock.
He then went on to "advise" women that "if you are overpowered, you should surrender and follow up the case later. That way we can be safe, save our life."
Asha Devi said the comments showed why nothing had changed in the years since her daughter's brutal gang-rape. "The way he made comments on me, it shows the mentality of our society which hasn't changed yet. He should have seen the struggle that we have gone through all these six years. If the society hasn't changed these years, it is because of these type of people and their mentality," she said.
The former police chief has been lacerated on social media with some suggesting he had lost his mind, and others contrasting his words with his stellar record.
A father of four daughters, the former cop sought to explain that he intended it as a compliment.
"As an ex-police DGP (Director General of Police, I consider my statement to be totally within limits. It should be taken in the right spirit. It was complimentary and without ill intention - if it was mistaken by anybody I feel sorry for them...Some people are extra-sensitive," Mr Sangliana said.
He also justified his comments on surrendering to rape, saying those were "in the interest of the safety of women in general."
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