“You should also understand the entire culture of celebration of the New Year’s thing over the years,” said the Karnataka Home Minister.
Women in the heart of Bengaluru weeping after being molested on New Year’s Eve and to which Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara responded that “these kind of things do happen”. He also blamed young people for “copying the West” in how they dress, while addressing the media. He offered no apology for the police’s failure to protect the women.
Thousands of people were celebrating the countdown to 2017 in the streets of Bengaluru when several women were allegedly molested and sexually harassed. There were 1,500 cops patrolling the city. Those at the city’s famous MG Road were unable to cope with the huge crowd that had gathered there.
Bengaluru was once considered among the safest city for women in the country. Karnataka is governed by the Congress. Union Home Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted today,
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
Also Read: 2016: The year of surprises
Historian Ram Guha added,
“The Karnataka home minister drags his non performing government further into the muck. His statement on dress and molestation was despicable.”
Mr Parameshwara said footage from CCTV cameras installed in the area would be examined by the police.
A young woman who was present on the boulevard in the heart of the Karnataka capital that night described the situation as “almost a stampede” and said she saw “girls crying and shouting for help.” One woman she said fainted, another took off her shoes to fend off attackers.
Two days later, she is still traumatised by what she saw, the woman said. A friend who was attacked is in shock.
“Whenever a woman passed the molesters groped and pawed them, taking advantage of the intense crowd…You can fight back one or two people but how do you fight a crowd,” she said, emphasising that men were “intentionally” targeting women.