'Desolate Area': Karnataka Minister's Remarks on Mysuru Case Draw Flak From CM

The Karnataka home minister further kicked up a row when he said, "The Congress is trying to rape me."

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Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra kicked up a row on Thursday, 26 August, with his remarks seeming to blame the Mysuru gang rape survivor, prompting sharp criticism from several quarters, including Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

On Wednesday, hours after the incident was reported, the home minister had, according to The News Minute, said that the young girl, who was allegedly gang-raped late evening on Tuesday, should not have gone to a deserted place with her friend after 7:30 pm. The girl, a college student was allegedly gang-raped by four men and her male friend was beaten up near Chamundi Hills in Mysuru.

"At around 7:30 pm, they went there. It is a desolate area. They should not have gone there that late. We don't have any right to ask people not to go anywhere. They went."
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said as quoted by The News Minute

Further reacting to the Opposition’s allegations on the state's handling of law and order situation, the home minister further kicked up a row, saying, “The Congress is trying to rape me, they are trying to rape the Home Minister”.

However, the minister has subsequently said that he had withdrawn this statement and added that he had said it only as a joke.

"I had no intention to hurt anybody and withdraw my statement. I have also withdrawn the statement made earlier on the Congress party leaders," he said, reported India Today.

'Don't Agree With Home Minister's Statement': CM Bommai

Reacting to his statements, CM Bommai said:

"I don't endorse the Home Minister's statement. I don't agree with his comment, I've told him to do a clarification. That's why I've spoken directly to the police officials and suggested them to report to me directly. I don't agree with whatever statement was made by the home minister."
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, as quoted by ANI

Earlier, in a press conference, state Congress President DK Shivkumar had said, “He (Araga Jnanendra) seems to be using the term rape very casually. I will not seek a response from him but will ask the leaders of his party to respond to this statement of the home minister."

CM Bommai Promises to Take Appropriate Action on Perpetrators

Meanwhile, the Karnataka chief minister has said that the state will form a special team to investigate the case and promised that the perpetrators will soon be caught and justice will be done.

"Once the DGP (Director General of Police) and I reach Bengaluru, we will immediately form a special team," CM Bommai told PTI.

Home Minister Jnanendra also said that the state is making all efforts to nab the accused. He had earlier said that he had sought an explanation from the police as to why there are no patrol vehicles in the area, where the alleged crime took place.

The victim is currently admitted to a private hospital and is taking treatment there. No arrests have been made in the case yet

(With inputs from ANI, PTI and The News Minute)

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