Panaji, April 10: The Goa Congress has criticised central minister Nitin Gadkari's controversial comment wherein he raked up the religion of two Bangladeshis who were arrested for raping a nun in West Bengal last month.
On Thursday, while defending the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from accusations of pandering to communalism made by the opposition, including the Congress party, Gadkari cited the gangrape of a nun in West Bengal last month, as an illustration to back his defence.
"Some days ago, two youths were arrested for raping the nun in Kolkata turned out to be Bangladeshi Muslims," said Minister of Road, Transport and Highways Gadkari.
The comment has raised the hackles of Goa Congress.
"Rape should not be linked to any religion. Rape is committed by a person with a sick mind. We need to punish the rapist and not bring religion into this kind of crime," Congress secretary Durgadas Kamat told IANS.
The gangrape of a septuagenarian Catholic nun in West Bengal's Nadia district had caused national uproar last month. [Nun rape case: Accused came to India by bribing Rs 2,000]
Two Bangladeshi nationals were arrested in connection with crime from Mumbai and North 24 Parganas district from West Bengal.
The central minister also said that the investigating agencies, probing the attacks on churches in Delhi, had said, that the crimes were not communal in nature and some, he said, involved drunken miscreants going berserk.
"All these incidents are unfortunate and they have no link direct or indirect with the BJP, organisations which share our ideology or the government of India. Narendra Modi and the BJP are being time and again attacked repeatedly in newer ways to confuse people, by saying that attacks on minorities have increased and that this government is against minorities," Gadkari said.
Gadkari also made an impassioned defence of his government, claiming that the Opposition was raising the communal bogie without reason only to instill a fear and insecurity in the minority community.
"The Opposition has been trying to target the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi by creating a fear about the party and the government in the minds of the minority. When you cannot convince, you confuse," Gadkari said.