Maharashtra's Home Minister R.R.Patil on Wednesday said he was misquoted on his reported controversial statement in the state assembly that even if the government provides one policeman for every house, crime against women can't be stopped.
Addressing media persons here, Patil said women's security is the state government's priority.
"I have said nothing about women not being safe even if one policeman is stationed in every home," said Patil.
He further stated that the state government would take all steps necessary to ensure the security of women in schools and offices as well.
Patil had made the statement in the Maharashtra Assembly, while replying to the opposition's charge that women are feeling unsafe under the current regime.
Patil said that the rise in rape cases is the result of a downslide in moral values.
Defending his comment, Patil said 6.34 percent rapes are committed by brothers and fathers, 6.65 percent of rapes are committed by close relatives, 42 percent by known persons and 40 percent of the women are raped after being lured for marriage.
"Rate of crimes against women is lesser in Maharashtra as compared to other states," he stressed.
Patil's controversial statement assumes significance in the wak of President Pranab Mukherjee saying on Monday that the central government will have a zero tolerance policy for violence against women.
Women activists, experts and observers said they were shocked by Patil's comments, and demanded that he should resign, and be held accountable for the way the police force in his state was operating.