Having stirred an uproar with insensitive remarks in connection to Bengaluru’s horrific 31st December night, Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara today said his statement on the incident was interpreted out of context.
"I am extremely pained by the fact that my statement with respect to the alleged molestation incident has been interpreted out of context and not taken in its entirety," he said in a statement.
Admitting that the choice of every citizen should be respected, the senior minister said women had equal rights, respect and protection under the Constitution.
"From the day I took over as Home Minister (October 30, 2015), I have stressed on the protection of women and children and will continue to do so," he said.
Noting that the Bengaluru Police were going through the footage of all CCTV cameras and following up all the leads available, the minister said the police would take necessary action suo moto.
"We also request anybody who has information (on the incident) to come forth and report to the police," he added.
Meanwhile, police remained clueless about the culprits who allegedly molested and groped some women on Saturday night during the New Year eve revelry in the city centre.
"As none has yet filed a complaint on the alleged incident, we have not registered a case. We also did not get information or material evidence on the incident from any victim or witness," a police station official told IANS.
Conflicting claims have been made over the incident in which some drunken men allegedly molested women and heckled revellers.
As part of enhanced security and heightened vigil, about 1,500 police personnel were deployed on Saturday evening in and around the city's central business district.
Brigade Road Traders' Association President Suhail Yusuff denied reports of alleged molestation or groping during the revelry in and around the upscale shopping area on Saturday midnight or early Sunday.
Asked about some footage showing some unidentified youth accosting a couple of women and another woman taking help of a policewomen, Yusuff said the police had resorted to caning the revellers as there was a lot of pushing, jostling and crowding causing commotion.
"As it was New Year celebrations, hundreds of people were greeting, wishing or hugging near and dear ones, friends or even others. How can such acts be termed molestation or groping?" Yusuff countered.
(With IANS inputs)