In a controversial remark, Uttar Pradesh Governor Aziz Qureshi on Monday said incidents of rapes could not be stopped even if entire police force was deployed for women's safety and only a divine intervention could check such crimes.
Qureshi's statement comes after Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav stirred up a controversy earlier with his statement that even with 21 crore people in Uttar Pradesh, the number of such cases were the least in the state.
"Even if the entire police force is deployed then also rape will not end...ocurrence of rape cannot be stopped", Qureshi, the officiating governor told a TV news channel.
"It is possible perhaps if the god takes an incarnation and comes down otherwise crime cannot be controlled", Qureshi said, adding "there is a need to create public opinion, an atmosphere against crime and create fear among the culprits".
Later in the evening, Qureshi sought to clarify his remarks, saying he was quoted out of context. "For stopping crime against women there is a need to change the mentality of society and stern action need to be taken against culprits and it was for stressing this that I had stated that entire police force cannot check rape otherwise, it can stop only when god takes an incarnation and comes down", he told another TV channel.
The governor's remarks have come in for severe condemnation by political parties in the state with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stressing that it is most "unfortunate".
"The governor issuing such a statement is most unfortunate...It lowers the dignity of his office and also harms the sentiments of the majority of people", Lucknow unit president of the BJP, Manohar Singh said.
The outgoing Governor from whom the Governor-designate Ram Naik is scheduled to take over on Tuesday, also expressed his displeasure over crimes being politicised. "Crimes should not be politicised...Rape should not be an issue only for condemning the government", he said, rooting for an impartial investigation by the police so as to ensure punishment to the guilty at the earliest.
When sought his reaction on the investigations into the Mohanlalganj murder case of a woman, he said, it required to be probed further. "What I have read about the investigation in the newspapers, I am not satisfied with it... Earlier it was said that six people were involved in the crime and later it was said that it was the handiwork of only one", Qureshi said.