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Chhattisgarh Minister Terms Rape of Minor as 'Small' Incident; BJP Demands His Removal

Image used for representation.

Image used for representation.

After the BJP criticised Dahariya and the Congress for the comments, the minister said that his remarks were "misconstrued".

Raipur: Chhattisgarh minister and Congress leader Shivkumar Dahariya has termed the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl in the state's Balrampur district as a "small" incident while talking about the Hathras case. After the BJP criticised Dahariya and the Congress for the comments, the minister said that his remarks were "misconstrued".

"(Former Chhattisgarh chief minister) Raman Singh is unaware that the big (rape) incident has occurred in Balrampur of Uttar Pradesh and not in Balrampur of Chhattisgarh," he said. "The incident happened here is different from that of Uttar Pradesh. Such a tragic incident occurred in Hathras but why Raman Singh did not tweet about it? Why did he keep mum? He should answer whether what happened in Hathras was good. And when any small incident happens in Balrampur in Chhattisgarh, he (Singh) is not doing anything else except criticising the state government," the urban administration minister told reporters on Saturday.

He was responding to a query on tweets posted by Raman Singh on the recent incident of rape in Balrampur. However, he later clarified that his remarks were misconstrued and he did not call the Balrampur rape a small incident.

"My remarks on big and small incidents were wrongly presented. I was actually referring to a sequence of incidents happening after the Hathras gang-rape. In Hathras incident, the Uttar Pradesh government did not provide proper treatment to the victim. The way attempts were made to hush up evidence in Hathras and the way the victim was cremated at night is inhuman and barbaric. Contrary to that, police in Balrampur (Chhattisgarh) immediately arrested the accused and the state government took a swift action," he said. "(Incidents of) rapes and atrocities, wherever they take place, are inhuman and they could not be tolerated. I never called rape incidents as small incidents," he said in a video released on Saturday night.

The opposition BJP has slammed the minister saying his comments showed the "distorted mindset" of the state Congress. "See the 'vikrit mansikta' (distorted mindset) of @ INCChhattisgarh! They feel incidents of horror with daughters of Chhattisgarh are small incidents. @RahulGandhi ji should tell whether incidents of rape in Chhattisgarh are small for you (Gandhi) also? When will you remove a minister with such poor thinking? When will justice prevail?" BJP national vice president Raman Singh tweeted in Hindi.

The BJP has also demanded an apology from the minister for his comments. Earlier, Singh had accused the Congress government of trying to suppress the alleged rape of a girl in Balrampur.

On September 27, a girl was allegedly sexually assaulted and beaten up by a 22-year-old man in Wadrafnagar area of Balrampur. Two persons were arrested in the case.

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