In an interview with Mirror Now, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit commented that the Delhi gangrape was ‘blown out of proportion’ by the media. She also attempted to wash her hands off the law and order situation in the city, by saying that was under the purview of the Central government. The government at the Centre was one led by Congress in 2012, the party Dikshit hails from.
On 16 December 2012, a young woman was raped by five men on a moving bus in Delhi. She later died from the injuries she sustained. Her death led to widespread protests, even leading the police to fire water canons at protesters occasionally. The anti-rape laws were also strengthened in the following months.
Dikshit sought to explain her comments by pointing out that all rapes, including rape of children, doesn’t get the same kind of attention that the gangrape in Delhi did at that time. In saying that, she trivialised the massive protests that ultimately compelled the political class to act to the rape laws and make them stronger.
“Sometimes you ignore rapes, just a little thing in the newspaper...little children being raped...and one was made into a political scandal,” she said.
When the interviewer grilled her about street lighting and CCTV cameras, she went on the defensive and reiterated that it was the Centre’s duty to make sure these things are functional in Delhi.
Dikshit is contesting from North East Delhi in the elections this year.
Watch the interview here: