Former MP HT Sangliyana’s Offensive Nirbhaya Remark Draws Ire

The comment was made at an award ceremony in Bangalore where women were being honoured with ‘Nirbhaya Award’.

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Former MP and ex-Commissioner of Police HT Sangliyana.

If we were to choose from the most inappropriate and offensive remarks made by our ministers till date, this one would definitely take the cake.

“If Nirbhaya’s mother has such a good physique, I can imagine how beautiful Nirbhaya would have been.”

These were the words of former MP and ex-Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, HT Sangliyana. Sangliyana was attending an award ceremony in Bangalore on 9 March where a number of women, including IGP D Roopa and activist Anita Cheria, were being honoured for their notable contributions to the state.

Also present at the award ceremony were Jyoti Singh’s parents, Asha Devi and Badrinath Singh, before whom the remark was made.


Journalist Susheela Nair who was present at the event tweeted the following.

Later, in an interview with Bangalore Mirror, Nair also said, “We never expected a man of his position to make such a comment, especially at a place where you are present to celebrate womanhood.”

Sangliyana is known for his ‘legendary’ work in the police forces, work that has inspired three Kannada feature films and given him the title of ‘Top Cop’.

A 1996 profile of the man in Outlook Magazine describes Sangliyana in the following words.

“Slapping corrupt officers, booking a chief minister’s driver for traffic violation, cycling around in disguise to experience the problems faced by nightbeat constables, seizing record amounts of timber and sandalwood, Sangliana has done it all.”

For a respected and decorated police officer, who is known for his stance against dishonesty and corruption, to make such a thoughtless and insensitive remark is nothing less than shocking.

A picture from the award ceremony in Bangalore.
A picture from the award ceremony in Bangalore.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@D_Roopa_IPS)

Anita Cheria made her disapproval of Sangaliana’s comment in her acceptance speech itself.

Cheria aptly said, “When top government officials, from the police, seemingly well-meaning, think it appropriate to comment, appreciating a woman’s good physique, we, as a society, have a long way to go to change mindsets and bring any measurable lasting change in favour of women.”

(With inputs from Bangalore Mirror)

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