Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi sparked controversy on Tuesday with his comments on the molestation of women in Bengaluru on New Year's eve.
Azmi reportedly said that the incident was bound to happen as women today stay outdoors after sunset and do not follow "Indian culture".
"In these modern times, the more women are naked, the more fashionable, modern and educated they are considered," NDTV quoted the senior leader as saying. "And this is increasing in the country. This is a blot on our culture."
"It's regrettable, a case should be registered," he added. "But if we say anything against girls and boys going out together, we are called old fashioned. In Indian culture there should be propriety in how men and women meet."
Clarifying his comments later, Azmi reportedly said, "It's not like that can be a reason for it. But I said, we have to take care of our own security... I believe if my daughter or sister is celebrating 31st night after sundown and she doesn't have her father or husband with her and is with other men, it is wrong to expect them to treat her with respect."
This is not the first time that Azmi has made such retrograde remarks about women. In 2014, he went on record to say that women who get raped should hang themselves.
"Rape is punishable by hanging in Islam," he had said. "But here, nothing happens to women, only to men. Even the woman is guilty."
Azmi's remarks came a day after Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara sought to explain away the Bengaluru molestation by saying that such incidents happened on New Year's Eve and Christmas.
According to media reports many women who had gathered to usher in the New Year were harassed and molested by drunk men posing as revellers in MG Road and Brigade Road in Bengaluru on 31 December.
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