Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil is known for issuing controversial statements. Earlier Patil had invited trouble for himself by saying that Bade bade shehron mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hain, (small attacks keep happening in big cities) after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Patil nonetheless failed to learn any lesson from the mistakes committed by him and said that crimes against women can’t be stopped even if the government deputes one policeman for every house. The home minister has made this statement at a time when the entire nation has expressed shock over the Badaun rape incident.
Patil has joined the infamous list of leaders who have issued immature statements whenever rape incidents occur. Huge debates are telecast in news channels about how to make India safe for women but very less steps have been taken to curb crimes against them. Even though the anti-rape law has been passed by the centre but rape incidents continue to rise unabated each passing day.
Patil made the statement in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, while replying to the opposition’s charge that women are feeling unsafe in the current regime. The state Home Minister said that the rise in rape cases are a result of downslide of moral values.
Mumbai which is known as a safe city for women too has witnessed several crimes against women like the Shakti Mill Gang rape, Preeti Rathi acid attack case, Goregaon rape incident, US women assault in local train and many others. Thus the state government too has failed to make the city safe for women.
Defending his comment Patil asserted, these days 6.34 percent rapes are committed by brothers and fathers, 6.65 percent of rapes are committed by close relatives, 42 percent by known persons and 40 percent of the women are raped after being lured for marriage.
Voices of criticism have started flowing in after Patil’s statement. “This government has failed to stop crime against woman. This government should be changed,” BJP MP from Mumbai North Poonam Mahajan said.
Advocate Abha Singh said, “This is a very careless and irresponsible statement by Patil. He cannot take care of the women in Maharashtra. He has no authority to continue as the Home Minister of Maharashtra.”
BJP leader Shaina NC said, “He has no sensitivity when it comes to women’s issues. It just shows how incompetent he is.”
Women activists, experts and observers said they were shocked by Patil’s comments, and demanded that he should resign, and be held accountable for the way the police force in his state was operating.
Soon after saying that rapes cannot be controlled even if one policemen is provided per house, Maharashtra RR Patil retracted saying women security is of utmost importance for the government and he never made any such comment.
The National Human Rights Commission had last week asked all state governments to adopt measures ranging from constructing toilets to increasing women’s security.
It had taken a dim view of the fact that women are forced to defecate in the open due to absence of toilets in their homes, which makes them vulnerable to crime. It had asked all the stakeholders to ensure “toilet facilities for each household”.