Asaram's supporters refuse to apologise, defend remarks

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New Delhi, Jan 8: Supporters of self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu refused to apologise for the comments made on the Delhi gangrape victim and instead defended him. Asaram said that the gangrape victim was partly responsible for what had happened to her and that she could have begged the attackers to escape. The remarks created a huge uproar with political activists and commoners asking him to withdraw them.

Asaram's spokesperson Neelam Dubey said during a TV interview that his comment was being interpreted out of context. She said the attackers were responsible but the victim was 0.1 per cent responsible for getting into such a bus. "If she had got on to a full bus or a bus with men, she wouldn't have faced this. If she had prayed, then some idea would have struck her and then reported the men," Dubey said, adding that the society and media should not fight about this.

Asaram Bapu

Asaram said that the 23-year-old paramedic student, who was brutally raped and seriously injured, was as guilty as her rapists. He said the victim, who succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on Dec 29, should have called the culprit brothers and begged before them to stop. "This could have saved her dignity and life," the man said, questioning if one hand alone could clap.

The BJP slammed Asaram over his remarks and demanded that the latter must take back his statement. Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said they considered the statement as inappropriate. Another BJP leader Maneka Gandhi said making someone brother depends on a man and not a woman. She said respect for women must be taught at the grassroots level, right from the school and in every family.

The Congress also criticised the self-styled godman, with party leader Rashid Alvi warning political and religious leaders to give serious thoughts to what they utter in public.

Chief of National Commission for Women Mamata Sharma said Asaram Bapu's statement sent across wrong signals. How pleading to the rapists would have helped the victim, she asked.

Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor also slammed Asaram Bapu, suggesting him to get his head examined.

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