Another SP leader’s rape remark sparks outrage

Abu Azmi remark, in interview to tabloid, draws fire

April 12, 2014 12:34 am | Updated November 16, 2021 07:24 pm IST - NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW/MUMBAI

The National Commission for Women on Friday issued notice to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh for his remarks describing rape as a “mistake” by boys which did not warrant capital punishment, even as Maharashtra SP chief Abu Azmi, in his reaction, said “rape survivors too should be hanged.”

Mr. Singh has been given three days to respond to the notice. The NCW has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav demanding action against Mr. Singh.

“The NCW has also written to the Election Commission,” said member Shamina Shafique.

Mr. Singh on Friday said the SP had great regard for women. But he reiterated that there was need to amend the anti-rape law to ensure punishment for those who misused it. Mr. Azmi added fuel to the rape controversy by suggesting capital punishment for the victims as well. He was quoted by a Mumbai tabloid, Mid-Day , as saying: “Any woman whether married or unmarried, if she goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged.” Mr Azmi's son and daughter-in-law were quick to disassociate themselves with the statement. “if wot im reading about my father in laws statements r true then me and Farhan are deeply embarrassed n ashamed...,” his daughter-in-law and actor Ayesha Takia-Azmi tweeted. Mr. Azmi’s son Farhan demanded a public apology from him. “These statements only show the generation gap between the youth & our senior leaders,” he tweeted.

The Maharashtra State Women's Commission suo motu issued a show-cause notice to Mr. Azmi.

RJD president Lalu Prasad said, “He (Mulayam Singh) seems to have lost his mental balance.” The CPI also sought an apology from Mr. Singh.

The parents of the December 16 gang-rape victim also criticised Mr. Singh. “With such comments, he [Mr. Singh] is only encouraging criminals to repeat such acts,” the victim’s mother said.

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