India minister says rape 'sometimes right, sometimes wrong'

In this file photograph, members of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) shout slogans during a protest against the gang rape of two teenage girls, in New Delhi, India. AP Photo

An Indian minister from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party said Thursday that rape was "sometimes right, sometimes wrong", amid mounting public anger over sex attacks against women.
      
Babulal Gaur, the home minister of central Madhya Pradesh state who is responsible for law and order, said rapes could be investigated as crimes only if they were reported to the police.
      
The minister also defended the government of northern Uttar Pradesh state, which has been the target of global outrage since the gang-rape and murder of two girls in the village of Katra Shahadatganj last week.
     
 "This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong," Gaur, of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told reporters.        

"Nothing can be done until there is a complaint," he said.
     
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav faced severe criticism for his perceived insensitivity over the attacks on the low-caste teenage girls, who were found hanging from a mango tree after being sexually assaulted multiple times.
     
When asked by reporters about a sharp rise in rape cases in the country's most populous state, he replied with the words: "It's not as if you faced any danger."       

Yadav's father Mulayam Singh -- leader of the Samajwadi Party -- was also the target of public anger in April when he told an election rally that he opposed the recently introduced death penalty for gang-rapists, saying "boys make mistakes".
      
Gaur stood up for the Yadav father-son duo Thursday, saying that "there is no information on who will rape someone, they happen unpredictably".
      
"What can...

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