Samajwadi Party Supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav's befuddlement with the concept of rape continues. At a press conference on Tuesday he said it that it was "impossible" for four men to rape a woman. While the gathering was to launch e-rickshaws, Yadav segued into a discussion on the Badaun rape case of May 2014, where two cousins were found hanging on a tree after being allegedly raped. A CBI investigation has said that no murder or sexual assault was involved.
"It is impossible for four people to rape someone together," Yadav remarked according to PTI, "If one brother commits rape, his three other brothers would also be made accused in the case."
In an earlier instance, on April 2014, Yadav said he opposed a proposed 'anti-rape' legislation and said that "rape accused should not be hanged. Men make mistakes."
The UP administration has frequently come under criticism for being tardy in dealing with those accused of rape and doing little to contain violent crime against women. However Mulayam Singh Yadav appears to be in denial about the magnitude of the problem.
"Out of the total rape cases in the country, only two per cent were reported from the state. It is less than in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Some people are trying to tarnish the image of the SP government in the name of poor law and order in UP", he said.
He added that while 9.80 per cent rapes took place in MP, seven per cent has been reported from Rajasthan.
Mulayam Singh said he wants Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to make a law to ensure that innocent are not implicated in cases where men were "improperly" accused of rape.
Opposition parties said Yadav's statement encapsulated his "disrespect towards women. "The biggest thing is that such a statement reflects SP supremo's disrespect towards women," said spokesperson Diwjendra Tripathi, "Such a statement would embolden elements involved in crime against women specially in rape cases."
Senior RLD leader Anil Dubey said the comment was only an attempt to mislead the people.
"If the government is failing to check rumours, then it means that it has also failed to check crime," he said.