Kiran Bedi in a spot over her `small rape` remark

A controversy broke out over activist Kiran Bedi`s "small rape" remarks in the context of the media coverage for such crimes.

Updated: Aug 13, 2012, 00:32 AM IST

New Delhi: A controversy broke out on Sunday over activist Kiran Bedi`s remarks accusing media of playing up "small rape" cases, with an incensed National Commission for Women (NCW) demanding an apology from the former IPS officer.

The remarks were made when the former IPS officer accused media of ignoring corruption allegations against UPA ministers and not giving coverage despite erstwhile Team Anna giving evidence regarding it.

"Thankfully, media does not discuss it (allegations) a single time. Ask yourself. On a small rape case or assault which a low ranking police official commit, how you would discuss it.

"But against 15 ministers, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal had given the evidence but nobody from among you media hold any debate or discussion over the issue.

"Tell me, why you haven`t done that? Do you fear them?" she told reporters here on the sidelines of yoga guru Ramdev`s fast.

Terming Bedi`s remarks as "distressing", NCW member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar said the Commission will issued a notice to her tomorrow after taking suo motu cognisance of the remarks.

"Ms Bedi is a woman and a former police officer. She should have shown extreme sensitivity while talking about a serious crime like rape. There is nothing like a `small rape`.

A rape is a rape and should be viewed as a crime against humanity," Prabhavalkar said in a statement in Mumbai.

"It is distressing that Ms Bedi showed utter lack of sensitivity on a serious issue. It shows her feudal mentality. I demand an immediate apology from her," Prabhavalkar said, adding "the NCW has decided to take a suo motu cognisance of Ms Bedi`s statement. It will issue a notice to her on Monday."

After her remarks created a furore, Bedi tweeted that "deliberate wrong news" was being circulated to distract people from knowing what she said.

"I never said rape is small crime. I said when small ranked person commits rape crime he is hung while big ones go scotfree. It was about comparative punishment. Small officer (not small rape) involved in rape is hung while big ones go scotfree!" Bedi said.