Indian women have initiated a social media protest campaign after a male politician suggested a woman who was chased in her car by two men shouldn’t have been out “so late in the night”.
On August 5, DJ Varnika Kandu reported an incident of harassment and possible kidnapping in Chandigarh through a long Facebook post elaborating the incident. She and her brother also reached out to the police to file a complaint, and it was found that one of the two men involved was the son of a famous politician.
In a Facebook post she said two men chased her in their car for some kilometers before cutting her off and approaching her vehicle on foot, beating on its windows and trying to enter. “They seemed to really be enjoying harassing a lone girl in the middle of the night, judging by how often their car swerved, just enough to scare me that it might hit me.” Kundu said she felt lucky she was “not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere”.
Following the incident, BJP leader Ramveer Bhatti stated that women should not be out after midnight, and driving so late in the night. “The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night. Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves,” Bhatti, told news channel CNN-News18.
His statement has received criticism from women around the country; including Kirron Kher, the BJP MP from Chandigarh, who condemned her party colleague comments and said: “There is no watering down of the case. I have been assured that the CCTV footage will be safe and the police will act.”
His comments have also sparked outrage on social media, and Indian women have been posting pictures of themselves out post-midnight with the hashtag #AintNoCinderella.
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