Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi faced the ire of the public on Thursday when she said that men do not commit suicide and she had never heard or read of a single such case, PTI reported. Gandhi was interacting with the public on social media using Facebook Live.

When she was asked about the initiatives taken by the government to reduce suicide rates among men, Gandhi said, “Which men have committed suicide? Why not try and resolve the situation rather than commit suicide – I have not heard/read of a single case.”

Data released by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2015 proved the union minister was quite mistaken. As many as 1,33,623 suicides were reported in the country in the said year, of which 91,528 or 68% of the victims were men and 42,088 were women. Of the 86,808 married persons who committed suicide in 2015, 64,534 (74 per cent) were men, the NCRB data further stated.

Gandhi was branded “anti-men” and drew sharp criticism from the public over her replies, including on social media.

“This ministry gets a large number of complaints that after a marriage has been dissolved, the father does not pay any maintenance despite court orders and the laws of the land…To push for rights needs an adherence to responsibilities as well,” she said during the three-hour long chat on the social media site.

However, towards the end of the session, Gandhi said she would open to the idea of having a ministry only for men.