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Don't Politicise a Child's Rape: PM Modi in London as Opposition Continues Criticism Over Kathua-Unnao

Amid a nationwide outrage over the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, PM Modi said "rape is rape" during the 'Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath' programme at the iconic Central Hall Westminster in London.

Updated:April 19, 2018, 10:00 AM IST
London: Day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was criticised even by former PM Manmohan Singh for his silence on the Unnao and Kathua rape incidents, he said on Wednesday night that “a child’s rape should not be politicised”.

Amid a nationwide outrage over the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, Modi said "rape is rape" during the 'Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath' programme at the iconic Central Hall Westminster in London.

He added, "We always ask our daughters about what they are doing, where they are going. We must ask our sons too."

The person who is committing these crimes is also someone's son, he said.

"I have never indulged in counting the number of rape incidents in this government and that government. Rape is rape, be it now or earlier. It is extremely sad. Don't politicise rape incidents," the prime minister said.

The rape of a daughter is a matter of shame for the country, he said.

"But can we compare the number of rapes in different governments? We cannot say there were this many rapes in our government and that many in yours. There cannot be a worse way to deal with this issue," he said.

Manmohan Singh hit out at Narendra Modi stating that the incumbent head of state should "follow his own advice" and "speak more often". "I am glad that PM Modi finally broke his silence. I think the Prime Minister should follow his own advice to me and he should speak more often. Through press (reports) I know that he used to criticise me for not speaking up. I feel that the advice that he used to give me, he should follow it himself," said Singh in an interview to Indian Express.

Calling it the evil of not just the individual but also of the society, the Prime Minister said people need to teach their sons to treat girls with respect.

"That's why I presented this issue from the Red Fort in a new way. I had said that if a daughter comes late, parents ask where had she gone and why. Whom did she meet?

The Prime Minister's remarks came as his government faced criticism for increasing incidents of rapes of minors especially after an eight-year-old girl was gang-raped and killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district.

In the Kathua case, an eight-year-old girl from a nomadic community was raped and killed.

The rape victim had disappeared from a spot near her house in Kathua on January 10 and a week later, her body was found in the same area.

A Special Investigation Team of J&K Police Crime Branch, formed to probe the incident, has arrested eight people, including two special police officers (SPOs) and a head constable and a Sub-inspector, who were charged with destroying evidence.

In the Unnao case, the victim has alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar at his residence on June 4, 2017 where she had gone with a relative seeking a job.

In February, the girl's family moved court seeking to include the MLA's name in the rape case. After this move, the victim's father was booked by the police under the arms act on April 3 this year and put in jail on April 5.

(With PTI inputs)
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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