New Delhi, Aug 22 ANI | 1 year ago

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has been pilloried by various politicians and activists for calling the Delhi gangrape a "small incident of rape", today also faced heavy condemnation from Nirbhaya's parents.

Nirbhaya's mother told ANI, "It is a very wrong statement. I have been deeply hurt by his statement."

"When they wanted votes, all political leaders were talking about Nirbhaya's case. But now, by calling it a small incident, they have shown their small mentality," she added.

While addressing a conference of state tourism ministers on Thursday, Jaitley had said that due to several reasons, including rapes and law and order situation, the tourism sector is not booming as much as it should.

"One small incident of rape in Delhi advertised world-over is enough to cost us billions of dollars in terms of lower tourism," Jaitley had said.

Reacting to his statement, Nirbhaya's mother said, "If he thinks that that incident cost a loss of crores of rupees, then he must think about the parents whose young and educated child passed away. Can he pay us back for our loss?"

"If he thinks that that incident has affected tourism, then being in power, they should concentrate on the economy, law and order and change the society. He should not give such statements which cause hurt to so many parents, whose daughters are found on trees or on the roads," said the mother of the braveheart girl, who was gang raped and murdered in December 2012.

Nirbhaya's father told ANI, "Whatever Arun Jaitley said was very wrong. He has encouraged boys who indulge in such acts. What was he trying to prove by calling a case like Nirbhaya's, which is known throughout the world, as a small case?"

"He can see the loss of crores due to tourism, but an honest citizen lost her life, isn't that a loss to the nation?" he questioned, adding, "He is expressing his small opinion. As far as the tourists are concerned, the law and order situation must be changed in the country. They must learn from their mistake and rectify it. If not, then they must resign."

Meanwhile, Jaitley sought to clarify his statement by saying that he regretted that his speech had been misconstrued.

Speaking to ANI, he said, "There is a controversy about what I had said in my speech yesterday. However, I had strongly emphasized against crime against women in India, and that how it is one of the factors that affects the whole country. I regret that my speech was misconstrued in certain sections, or some words that I used were construed as insensitive, but that was not my intention."

(Posted on 22-08-2014)

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