Goa Congress MP Shantaram Naik kicked up a storm in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday by suggesting that some rape victims invite trouble by socialising with “strangers”.
Naik angered the opposition, especially women members, when he said a rape case should be treated differently if the victim is known to be moving with strangers beyond midnight.
The MP blamed the media for highlighting the controversial case of a Russian woman working in Goa who claims she was raped earlier this month by a state politician in his car after they had dinner together.
Naik said the electronic media was blowing the case out of proportion. He said while rape was a heinous crime, “...an alleged rape of a lady who moves with strangers for days together even beyond middle of the night is to be treated on a different footing”.
Brinda Karat (CPI-M), Najma Heptulla, Maya Singh (BJP) and Jaya Bachchan (SP) led the protests and sought intervention of deputy chairman K Rahman Khan, saying Naik should not be allowed to speak derogatorily of women.
Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) said it appeared that Naik was “justifying” rape. Khan then asked the Goa MP to submit his Zero-Hour text for examination and told him that he was going beyond the subject he wanted to raise. The chair expunged his remarks.