"The comment comes in the wake of a report of assault on a woman who was first beaten up and then her private parts were smeared with chilli powder."
Panaji, June 29 - Goa's leading women's rights group has termed Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar arrogant and insensitive towards women after he publicly suggested that entrepreneurs starting an industrial unit suffered an ordeal worse than that experienced by a raped woman.

Sabina Martins, convenor of the Bailancho Saad women's group, told IANS Sunday that comments made by Parrikar Friday night in his speech at the annual general body meeting of the Goa State Industries Association was an insult to all women.

The comments were arrogant and insensitive. It completely demeans victims of rape. But this is not the first time that the chief minister has shown his contempt for women's issues, Martins said.

On Friday, Parrikar had said while recounting an anecdote: If a woman is raped, she has to deal with inquiries only from one (police) inspector, but if someone wants to start an industry, they have to deal with 16 inspectors.

After the comment, the chief minister told the media that it was anecdotal and made on a lighter note.

Parrikar in his speech also said that he was working towards simplifying the process for setting up industrial units and curbing inspector-raj by bringing down the number of inspectors involved in the process from 16 to six.

Even his basic understanding of the trauma suffered by a rape victim is poor. She not only has to face the inquiry of one inspector, but has to narrate the story over and over again to counsellors, senior police officers, hospital authorities, Martins said.

She recalled an instance where Parrikar had accused all women activists protesting an increase in bar timings of having an itch for media publicity in Konkani, the regional language.

If this is the kind of attitude towards rape victims at the top, imagine what signals it will send to those working at the lower levels of politics, bureaucracy and police, she said.

The comment comes in the wake of a report of assault on a woman who was first beaten up and then her private parts were smeared with chilli powder.

Police had refused to file a complaint for five days. A report was registered Friday only after intervention by a women's NGO, and an assistant police inspector was suspended for non-registration of the complaint and an inquiry was initiated.


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