A self-proclaimed spiritual guru in India has sparked outrage with his callous remarks about the gang rape of a 23-year old in India who succumbed to her injuries on December 26.
The Times of India quotes Asaram Bapu’s speech to his devotees:
“Only 5-6 people are not the culprits. The victim is as guilty as her rapists… She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop… This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don’t think so.”
CNN IBN reports that his spokesperson Neelam Dube has since come out to say that he has been misrepresented by the press and that he was just warning his female devotees to be careful. “His statement is being misquoted…he just said that the victim is 1 per cent to be blamed,” Nube said. “She shouldn’t have taken that bus. He was just asking his female devotees to be careful, media is misquoting him.”
India’s ruling Congress Party has since called on him to withdraw his comments. Many have blamed misogynistic views and moral policing on the part of many Indian policemen and policymakers for India’s horrible record on sexual violence against women.
Meanwhile, five of the six accused in the gang rape and murder of the 23-year old were brought to Delhi’s Saket District Court for trial but a ruckus created by lawyers that denounced a lawyer representing the accused delayed the court proceedings. It also forced the court to allow an in-camera trial that prevents the media from reporting any of the news without the court’s permission. Their next hearing is scheduled for January 10.
The sixth accused could face charges in a juvenile court as police still wait bone-density test results.
You can see Bapu make the comment in the clip via CNN IBN:
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