- He said women file rape complaints to get back at estranged male friends
- "Didn't say consent. I said people who know each other," Mr Khattar said
- Congress, AAP had condemned Manohar Lal Khattar's earlier remarks
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today sought to end the controversy that erupted after his comment that women file false rape cases to get back at estranged male friends. Mr Khattar said he only meant that most sexual assaults take place between people who are known to each other.
"I didn't say sehmati (consent). I said people who know each other. That's where rapes occur. I am not the only one saying this. There's research to back it. There shouldn't be politics into this," Mr Khattar said today.
Mr Khattar was addressing a public gathering in Haryana when he said women file rape complaints after they fight with men they had been roaming around with.
"Around 80-90 per cent of the rape and molestation cases happen between people who are familiar with each other. They roam around together for days, and when they finally squabble one day, the woman files an FIR saying that she has been raped," he said.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala was quick to condemn the controversial comment. Calling the comment deplorable, he said it exposed the anti-women mindset of the Haryana government.
"Anti-Women Mindset of Khattar Govt Exposed! Haryana CM Khattar ji makes an utterly condemnable remark. Blaming Women for complete failures to control Rapes & Gangrapes? Deplorable!" he wrote on Twitter.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Haryana Chief Minister's comment was tantamount to justifying rapes.
"If the chief minister of a state thinks like this, how will girls be safe there? CM sahib is justifying rape.This is why rapes are increasing in Haryana, rapists are not getting caught and are roaming free," he tweeted in the morning.
Congress leader Shobha Ojha also slammed Mr Khattar, saying the comment showed the "perverted mind" of the BJP. "It's the distorted mentality of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and it shows the perverted mind of BJP party," she said.
This was not the first time Mr Khattar was embroiled in a controversy over his comments on crimes against women.
In 2014, he blamed women's attire for sexual assaults, saying a boy would not even look at a girl the "wrong way" if she dressed "decently". "If they really want to enjoy their freedom of choice, why don't they just roam around naked? Freedom has to be limited. These short clothes are Western influences. Our country's tradition asks girls to dress decently," he had said.