In her first comments on the Unnao and Kathua rape cases which have raged a nationwide outrage, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Friday alleged “politicisation” of incidents, and urged that there should be no victim shaming in rape and murder cases.
“The law and the administration will work according to the constitution. There are some people who want to politicise such incidents and that is expected too. But as a woman, I would request that victim shaming should not be done,” she said.
Her statement comes a day after political protests, which included Congress President Rahul Gandhi taking out a march to India Gate protesting the recent rape and murder incidents.
Irani is the third woman leader at the Centre to comment amid protests over the rape and murder of an 8-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir and a BJP MLA accused of raping a teen in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao.
In a video message this morning, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said that she was “deeply, deeply disturbed by the rape case in Kathua and all the recent rape cases that have happened on children”, adding that her ministry intends to amend the POCSO Act making provision for death penalty in child rape cases.
Meanwhile, BJP national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi accused the Opposition of politicising the two cases. “You see their plan, first shout ‘minority, minority’, then ‘Dalit, Dalit’, and now ‘women, women’ and then try to somehow fix blame of state issues on the Centre. All this while ignoring the strict action being taken by state governments,” she said.