Outrage after Indian minister blames sexual assault in victims who 'dress like westerners'

During a New Year's Eve party in the Indian state of Bangalore, a mob allegedly carried out a string of sexual attacks which left many victims in its wake and the response of the man whose duty it is to police the region has sparked fury among Indians.

Home minister G Parameshwara told The Times Now television network:
'A large number of youngsters gathered - youngsters who are almost like westerners. They try to copy westerners not only in mindset, but even the dressing, so some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kind of things do happen.'
Following massive backlash, the minister claimed he was misquoted and wrote on Twitter: 'We can't allow the shameful act of #MassMolestation go unpunished. Women's safety is a must in a civilised society.' His junior home minister, Kiren Rijiju described his comments as 'irresponsible'.
Lalitha Kumaramangalam, who heads India's National Commission for Women, said Parameshwara should resign over his comments.
She told the Press Trust of India:
'I want to ask this minister: are Indian men so pathetic and weak that when they see a woman in western clothes on a day of revelry, they get out of control?
'When will the Indian men learn to respect women? The minister should apologise to the women of the country and resign.'

India has witnessed shocking levels of sexual assault against women, which came into sharp focus in December 2012 when a student was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi and later died of her injuries, leading to the official cancellation of that year's New Year celebrations. 
 

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