Chandigarh: At a time when a spate of rape cases has brought shame to Haryana, a local Congress leader has raked up a controversy saying ‘majority of rapes in the state are consensual’.
Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) member Dharamvir Goyat made the controversial remarks at an interaction with media persons at Hisar on Thursday.
"If we go into the details of rape cases and abductions, it is found that victims and accused in 90% of cases are runaway couples. So the cases are consensual," Goyat was reported as saying by The Times of India.
The remarks drew sharp criticism, with the National Commission for Women chairperson Mamata Sharma asking Goyat to "respect women before making tardy assessments of such a heinous crime".
"Rape is a reproach on Haryana. Rather than suggesting measures to control and set his government's house in order, he's inciting more such cases" Sharma told the daily.
The HPCC has also issued a notice to Goyat in connection with his controversial remarks.
Just two days ago, opposition leader and INLD chief Om Parkash Chautala had seconded the Rohtak Khap’s suggestion that girls should be married young to prevent rape cases.
Referring to marriages during Mughal period, Chautala had said that "people would marry girls early during those days to prevent cases of rapes". He however retracted his endorsement later.
The Congress government in Haryana has been under fire after 17 rape cases were reported over the past one month in the state. Congress president Sonia Gandhi had on Tuesday visited the family of a Dalit rape victim in Jind. The girl had committed suicide after being gangraped.
First Published: Friday, October 12, 2012, 10:32