Bengaluru: Reports of the harassment meted out to women revellers on New Year’s eve in one of India’s most hi-tech cities has left the entire country ashamed. While the pictures of the shameful incident infuriated citizens, the state Home minister from the Congress-led government in Karnataka dubbed it as ‘usual’ and instead sought to blame the failure of the police machinery to protect women on the ‘western ways’ of celebrations.
A day after, the remarks by the minister sparked huge uproar, with Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju condemning Karnataka Home minister G Parameshwara for his remarks and sought immediate action on the culprits.
Parameshwara had yesterday brushed aside the mass molestation of women during New Year celebrations as “regular”.
“I condemn the irresponsible comment made by Karnataka Home Minister. We can’t allow the shameful act of mass molestation go unpunished. Bengaluru is a vibrant city and women’s safety is must in a civilised society,” Rijiju tweeted.
I condemn d irresponsible comment made by Karnataka Home Minister. City Police should catch all the identified culprits & put behind the bar https://t.co/XCOPCoOTet— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) January 3, 2017
We can't allow the shameful act of #MassMolestation go unpunished. Bangaluru is a vibrant city & women safety is must in a civilised society— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) January 3, 2017
Meanwhile, historian Ram Guha also condemned Parameshwara, terming his remarks as 'despicable'.
"The Karnataka home minister drags his non performing government further into the muck. His statement on dress and molestation was despicable," Guha tweeted.
The Karnataka home minister drags his non performing government further into the muck. His statement on dress and molestation was despicable— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) January 2, 2017
In a shocking display of apathy, the hi-tech city witnessed molestation and eve-teasing, despite the deployment of a staggering 1,500 police officials.
Bangalore Mirror, in its front-page report, had alleged that unruly mobs started “pawing, molesting and passing lewd remarks” on women who had gathered for revelry on Bengaluru’s MG Road and Brigade Road.
However, Parameshwara, instead of promising strict action against the culprits, said that “these kinds of things do happen”.
“They tried to copy the westerners, not only in their mindset but even in their dressing. So some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen,” he had said.
On the other hand, the police, shockingly said that there has been no official cases of molestation and harassment registered with them despite several eyewitness accounts and photographic evidence.
The report had also claimed that the deadline for celebrations this time were extended till 2 am this year, under pressure from some of the commercial establishments, especially the drinking joints in the central division.