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Arun Jaitley regrets statement, says not trivialising any incident in Rape remark row

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s recent statement that one incident of rape in Delhi has hit the tourism sector, causing loss of millions of dollars, has severely disappointed Nirbhaya’s father who, on Friday, termed the BJP leader’s remark as ‘irresponsible’.

Terming Jaitley’s statement as irresponsible, he said the comments made by the Finance Minister has deeply disappointed him.

Meanwhile, the Union Minister today clarified saying he was not referring to any particular incident and regret his words, which were construed as insensitive.

“I regret that the statement has been construed or some word that I have used have been construed as insensitive. That was never my intention,” he said.

The minister said he had spoken “in general” on how crime can hurt tourism and the image of crime against women itself dissuades tourists from coming to India.

“I am very sensitive to these issues myself and there is no question of trivialising any crime or any particular incident. I had not referred to any particular incident,” Jaitley added.

While addressing a Tourism Ministers conference, Jaitley on Thursday said: “One incident of rape in Delhi was enough to cost million dollars in terms of lower number of tourists. We have national responsibility and God has given us everything which tourists wants to see, we just have to catalyse that process and make sure of that we take right step.”

Earlier in the day, Nirbhaya’s father criticised the Union Minister for his irresponsible remark and said such a statement encourages those who commit such crimes.

The aggrieved father questioned the Finance Minister for linking the gruesome incident to the losses incurred by the tourism industry. “A honest citizen lost her life, isn’t that a loss to the nation?” he asked.

Reactions from Nirbhaya’s father came after Jaitley said on Thursday that the December 16 gang-rape incident had cost India tourism industry millions of dollars.

NCW member Nirmala Samant too condemned Jaitley’s statement, saying that it is very unfortunate and shocking.

The horrific Delhi gang-rape incident had shaken the conscience of the entire nation and was widely covered by both national and international media.

A trainee physiotherapist, was brutally gang-raped inside a moving bus here by six people Dec 16, 2012, leading to grievous injuries which caused her death later.

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