Amid the outrage over the horrific Rewari gangrape and subsequent failure of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar's police to nab 11 of the 12 persons who committed the heinous crime, Republic TV has stung an important person who has thus far managed to stay out of the line of fire -- the BJP MLA of Rewari Randhir Singh Kapriwas.
In the sting, Kapriwas, sitting on his bed sipping tea, made a number of statements, observations, justifications and arguments that betrayed the kind of attitude to crimes against women that ensures that they happen again and again, and, in particular, why the Rewari victim and her parents have faced such a harrowing time every step of the way -- from filing the FIR, to seeking medical treatment, and for justice -- to add to their travails.
Kapriwas first spoke about how the victim was 'everyone's daughter', and mentioned that all the big leaders who had visited the hospital where she is admitted had first stopped by 'here'. He said that he told these leaders, including former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Kuldeep Bishnoi:
"Firstly... everything is over for a girl who meets with such an incident. And one needs to be warned on such an issue. But overdoing everything, overhyping it politically... personally I feel... through media these political elements have hyped the issue, and killed the girl and buried her."
When confronted with the fact that the victim was still alive, though in hospital, he explained that he meant that she was "dead" metaphorically:
"No... you are not getting me. It means that this issue has been so hyped. The girl is as good as dead. They are bringing this up again and again, playing politics over this issue. They will kill her by doing this."
Not getting into specifics of whether he would rather that no attention be brought to this crime, the victim continue to face harassment rather than get justice, and be paid 'Rs 2 lakh' as compensation for her ordeal, the MLA continued, talking about the transfer of the SP, who was transferred over the issue after "he made a deal with someone... something like that".
Continuing talking about the SP's suspension, he proceeded to deliver a long 'explanation' on the matter, also attributing, like a fellow BJP MLA had before him, that gangrape was somehow a result of unemployment:
"SP got transferred. Suspension orders were issued for others. Now, for a change, strictness is also required... When such incidents are highlighted, they come under the limelight. It's very unfortunate that there isn't a place or a district where such a crime hasn't been committed. But what are we doing? The cases which come into light are highlighted to an extreme degree. In such incidents the girl is as good as dead. And the culprits, they too are as good as dead. But what we really should do hasn't happened yet. Most importantly... I am saying this with my experience... there are no morals left. One reason is unemployment... We used to be so busy. Used to work. Nobody had the time to think about all this."
Kapriwas then spoke about the specific case, and proceeded to admit that there was negligence, though, in a saving grace, he stated that those who were negligent weren't being protected politically:
"Yes there was negligence. And there are investigations made against them. They too will be held responsible in the SIT and the suspension orders have been made. After suspending them, none of them will be allowed to be on duty. The legal investigation that is happening against them is ongoing. Nobody is sheltering them, and neither do they have any political protection. None at all, right? Otherwise, we would have all known by now. Every man wants them to be punished."
When challenged with a question about why the accused were allowed to flee, he once again made an admission, that there had been a delay, and offered another 'explanation':
"There was a delay. Definitely a delay. I'll tell you how there was a delay. That's what I was telling him. Her village is in _____. And now there is Rewari. The SHO of the women's police station said that you must file the FIR where the crime happened. She shook off the responsibility. The court will decide what will become of her, because she said that this wasn't my jurisdiction. They will decide if she is right or wrong. But prima-facie, we believe that she was wrong. She is a police officer and in a crime this grave she should have filed a FIR, called the other station and got the investigation going. And now she's stuck because of this."
He was then asked about why the family of the victim is facing threats, to which he said:
"See, they are saying that the father of the boy may have called them and said not to complain to suppress the matter with his power. This is an obvious process. First, the person will try to bribe, try to explain and even try to mediate to save themselves. The son has done a misdeed but he is their son, hence the sentiment of the son will take over and these things will happen."
After making that justification for parents taking to issuing threats in order to protect their rapist son, he showed off his attitude towards women:
"Now I will tell you something twisted. God save what happened. Two cases have been highlighted in Dharuhera saying that a person has put me in a car and raped me. I could not say but today I'm saying."
"A married women says this. It came in the newspaper yesterday. Where was she all these days? It happened in July. Last month one said that a contractor named Raju took me away and from the middle of the bazaar too. Nobody saw that means she sat willingly. So there are somethings today over which blackmailing is happening. The girl is from outside. She sits with somebody, talks to that person and when he was of no use to her she threw him away."