Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Taneti Vanitha blamed poverty for the rape of a pregnant woman at the Repalle railway station, The News Minute reported on Wednesday.
“For these incidents to happen, there are some psychological situations and poverty is also a reason,” she said. “In the Repalle woman’s incident, they [accused] had not come there with the intention of assaulting the woman. They were drunk and attacked the man for money.”
On Sunday, a 25-year-old woman was raped when she was headed to Krishna district for masonry work along with her husband, The New Indian Express reported. The three men allegedly also beat up the husband.
The husband said that he rushed to the railway police, and alleged that the personnel there did not respond initially. By the time he got help from a nearby police station, the accused men had fled the spot.
The police arrested three persons, including a minor, in connection with the rape, reported The News Minute.
“When the woman intervened to protect her husband, they pushed her away and confined her,” Vanitha said on Tuesday. “In such situations, some things happen in an unexpected manner.”
She admitted there was a dearth of police personnel at railway stations. However, she said that the rape did not take place because of the shortage of police personnel.
“We will decide soon how to rectify it,” she said. “We are increasing security at railway stations, will install more CCTV cameras and night beats have been increased.”
This was the second instance of a gang rape at a railway station in Andhra Pradesh in the past two weeks, The News Minute reported.
On April 16, a woman from Maharashtra was raped at the Gurazala railway station in Palnadu district. Two men have been arrested by the police.
The Opposition Telugu Desam Party has called for Vanitha’s resignation from the post.
“The minister who has degraded women by recklessly saying rapes tend to happen, instead of condemning them, should immediately tender a public apology and resign from her post,” the party wrote on Twitter.
BJP state General Secretary S Vishnuvardhan Reddy said Vanitha’s statements were reckless.
A day before the rape at the Repalle railway station, Vanitha had blamed a woman after her child was sexually abused by a neighbour, reported The News Minute.
“Without playing the role of mother, putting the blame on the police department or the government or others isn’t right,” she had said. “So, first of all, as a mother, we need to fulfil our responsibilities towards our children properly.”