AP top cop blames women for rape cases

Andhra Pradesh Director-General of Police V Dinesh Reddy here on Friday blamed the ''fashionable and provocative manner'' in which women were dressing these days for the increasing rape cases in the state.

However, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi took umbrage at Reddy’s remark, saying there cannot be any kind of policing on dressing by women.

Asked about the increase in rapes at 2,191 during 2011 as against 1,228 during the previous year at his annual conference on crime in the state, 

Dinesh Reddy said one of the main causes of rape was the “fashionable” and “provocative” manner in which women were dressing these days.

 Reddy said : “When you are taking food which gives good ‘josh’, as time goes you tend to be naughtier. Rapes and all cannot be controlled by police. People are turning out to be more fashionable. Even people from coastal villages are wearing salwar-kameez instead of traditional dress during their daily chores.

All these things provoke these types of things, which are not in control of the police. So rapes per se increase or decrease, you cannot attribute to the police.

“It (rise in rape cases) cannot to be attributed to the failure of the police. One of the factors (for rape cases) is that the accused are getting provoked as women are getting fashionable, even in rural areas. In villages more women are wearing fashionable clothing and if one studies the crime pattern. It is one of the factors provoking the accused (towards rape).”

Dinesh Reddy is known for his links with former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. He had been elevated as City Police commissioner during YSR’s tenure but was removed following a controversy. The officer had claimed that the increase in crime rate in Andhra Pradesh was only by minus 1.88 per cent as against the national stats of increase by 4.48 per cent.

One of the innovations of the DGP to make his department people-friendly is to set up a front desk in some model police stations with “good looking receptionists.”
 “I am sure the number of complaints against the police being not people-friendly will fall after that,” he said in a lighter vein.

Unfortunately, the DGP has reinforced false stereotypes about rape, where the victims are blamed for the horror perpetrated on them.

A similar comment by a senior police official in Canada had provoked international outrage and led to the slut walk movement. In India, this global movement was called “Besharmi Morcha” to dispel these myths, which subjugate the victim instead of supporting them.
Reacting to the remark in the national capital, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said the official was out of line. “I strongly disagree with that statement. Everyone is entitled to dress in the way he or she pleases as long as he or she has regard to the occasion, the place and the context. Obviously you don’t wear a whole lot of clothes to play football or tennis and you don’t wear swimwear to a cocktail party,” Chidambaram said.

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