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Women Congress activists protest outside Jaitley's residence

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 22 : Hundreds of women Congress supporters protested outside Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's residence here Friday afternoon demanding an apology from him for terming the December 16, 2012, gang-rape case as a "small rape incident".

The protesters tried to march toward Jaitley's Ashoka Road residence but were stopped by police. They raised anti-BJP slogans and burnt an effigy of the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader.

Mahila Congress Committee president Shobha Oza told reporters that it is an irresponsible statement by Jaitley which will encourage people who are involved in such heinous crimes.

"Arun Jaitley should straightforwardly accept that he has a wrong mindset and this is what he thought. He should apologise for this and extend his apology to the entire female fraternity of the country for this insult," Oza said.

She said that Jaitley was trying to distort the issue now and blaming the media for incorrectly interpreting him.

"The December 16 gang-rape was politicised by the BJP, and now when they are in power rape has become a small issue for them," she said.

On the minister defending himself saying his words were misconstrued, Oza said a person's thoughts are reflected in his words and this shows his mindset.

Oza also hit out at the BJP for retaining Nihalchand Meghwal as a minister despite rape charges against him.

"Jaitley should have resigned by now but what can be expected from a government which has a minister (Nihalchand) who continues to be a minister after charges of rape," she said.

Arun Jaitley landed in a controversy Thursday after he said at a conference that, "One small incident of rape in Delhi was enough to cost millions of dollars in terms of lower number of tourists."

The minister, however, expressed regret over his statement.

"I regret that the statement has been construed or some words that I have used have been construed as insensitive. That was never my intention," he said in his clarification Friday.

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