Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Sunday invited controversy for victim-blaming once again, hours after it came to light that a gang of 14 men had molested two women in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur district and shared the video online. To this, Khan said that girls should avoid places where they can be molested.
“What is there to be surprised,” Khan said. “There have been so many rapes and murders [in the state] under the new government. Girls should also avoid places jahan besharmi ka nanga naach ho raha ho [where the shameless dance naked].”
This is not the first time Khan has landed himself in trouble for laying the responsibility for crimes against women on everyone but the perpetrators. In December 2016, Khan had to offer an unconditional apology in the Supreme Court for calling a gangrape incident in Bulandshahr, where a gang of highway robbers assaulted a minor girl and her mother, a “political conspiracy”.
“We need to investigate whether this is a conspiracy by opponents who want to defame the government,” Khan had said. Khan’s party had been in power in the state when the incident took place.
In October 2015, he had blamed mobile phones for the rising number of rape cases in India. “The malicious content which can be seen on these phones is polluting the minds of the people and enticing them to commit such sins,” Khan had said.
In another incident in 2015, Azam Khan had allegedly advised a rape survivor, who had approached him for help, to not seek “fame and attention” for her “disgrace”. The woman had complained that three men had raped her in moving car and stabbed her husband .