Maha minister irks women by asking not to protest rape cases

Laxmanrao Dhoble courted controversy when he advised women "not to waste time in staging protests for rape victims" of dalit community.

Nagpur: Maharashtra Water Supplies and Sanitation Minister Laxmanrao Dhoble courted controversy here when he advised women "not to waste time in staging protests for rape victims" of dalit community.

Following his remarks, a group of women, present at a function, reacted sharply and allegedly manhandled him.

The angry women encircled him while he was boarding his official car and allegedly roughed him up.

Dhoble had delivered a speech at the concluding session of fourth state-level `Annabhau Sathe Sahitya Sammelan` here on Sunday evening in the memory of the progressive dalit Marathi writer.

While addressing the topic of atrocities against women, Dhoble said protesting against rape and taking out morchas does not help the purpose. The women`s act (protests) would not curb such crimes in the state, he said and advised the victims to concentrate on raising the children, born in such cases.

"Such children should be given proper education, teach them law and then ensure that the culprits are punished through the land of law. I am against staging dharnas and other form of protests for rape victims because such means dilute the gravity of the case," the NCP Minister said.

Irked by his statement, some women participants rushed to the porch when was about to leave and allegedly manhandled him.

The minister somehow managed to wriggle out and escape from the venue.

Programme convenor, former MLA Netaji Rajgadkar (Ralegaon Siddhi), told a news agency that the speech of the minister was a matter of record but could not confirm the manhandling saying he himself had left the venue soon after the address was over.

The minister could not be contacted.

Meanwhile, police said they have not received any complaint in this regard.