January 1, 2012



Provocative dress invites rape, says AP police chief

In a mind-your-attire-like statement, the police chief of Andhra Pradesh has attributed the increase in crime against women to the dress they wear.

Claiming that the modern women are more vulnerable to rape, AP’s director general of police V Dinesh Reddy said provocative dress of women was one of the reasons for the incidence of rape, and police have no control over that.

Reddy was responding to a set of queries raised by the media on the rise in number of rape cases in the state during 2011.

Andhra Pradesh reported 1,291 rape cases till November this year against1,228 during the corresponding period last year and 1,147 in 2009.

Reddy also referred to his experience in his own village in coastal Nellore district where, he said, women wore dresses that covered their entire body.

“Now, wealth has increased, corporate styles have seeped into the villages bringing in liquor and other cosmopolitan cultures. These modern women are more vulnerable to rapes,” he said.

According to him, the police have little role to play in the unfolding of unfortunate events when the women wear provocative dresses.

The number of rapes and murders in Andhra Pradesh rose significantly during 2011. There were about 2,522 murders reported till November 2011 as against 2,465 in 2010 and 2,381 in 2009.

While addressing both the issues together, Reddy said two major crimes were linked to social factors and the police were not to blame.

When questioned what solution he would suggest to bring down the incidence of rapes, Reddy said, “We will cross the bridge when we reach there.”

The DGP’s comments kicked up a row in the statewith women’s groups condemning the way the police chief was trying to wash his hands off.

In Delhi, Union home minister PChidambaram dismissed Reddy’s assertion, stating people were entitled to dress the way he or she feels and there can be no moral policing on choice of clothes.

“I strongly disagree with that statement. Everyone is entitled to dress the way he or she pleases as long as he or she has regards to the occasion, the place and the context. Obviously, you don’t wear a whole lot of clothes to play football or tennis and you don’t wear swimwear and go to a cocktail party,” Chidambaram said. The home minister said there cannot be any kind of moral policing and “certainly not by a DGP”.

With the comments all set to snowball, the DGP’s office swung into action by way of sending a clarification which, however, did not deny what the DGP had said.

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