Bhopal, Feb 12 (The Indian Express): Union Water Resources Minister and Jhansi MP Uma Bharti on Saturday stuck to her claim that she had tortured rapists when she was Madhya Pradesh chief minister, saying she had done it twice and "will do so again in future if I get an opportunity".
Reacting to a report in The Indian Express that quoted former DGP S K Das as saying he could not recollect any such incident when she was the CM and he headed the police force, Bharti said that she would reveal those instances after March 11 (when results of the state elections will be announced).
"I will not reveal the names of policemen who acted on my instructions. I will be ready to face consequences and if I get a chance in future will again do so," the former CM said in a letter sent to The Indian Express.
However, she added, she would not participate in a discussion on the topic till March 11 but answer all queries after that. "The matter is so serious and expansive that I want the debate on it to be stopped till March 11."
She said that the Home Department had been with her as the CM for days, and that she had herself instructed Das to ensure that people at police stations are not humiliated. "Thousands of people die of police torture every year after being arrested. Many of them are extremely poor and innocent… However, that relaxation (of not humiliating people) was not meant for tyrants, who had paraded nude women before crowds, gangraped them and disfigured their faces with acid," she said, without giving any details of such incidents.
Das was DGP for 16 months, including the eight months from December 2003 to August 2004 when Bharti was the CM.
"Let the elections be over and call Das saheb for a discussion. I will remind him of the two incidents because he is aware of the facts," she said. "I made him the DGP. (For the first time) in the state’s history, the post of DGP had gone to an officer of the deprived class. He fully deserved it."
She further said that she would speak to anyone, from constable to the SP to the IG, when crimes were committed against women, disabled, old and deprived, because she was authorised to do. Bharti said she also shared "everything with the DGP though he was aware of the facts".
When reached for his comments again on Saturday, the former DGP said, "Even if my father from heaven were to descend and ask me to do so (torture), I would not do it." Also reacting sharply to Bharti’s assertion that she had made him the DGP, Das said: "Did she also post me to the previous senior positions I had held? The deprived classes have risen in life, some above her. Which class did Ambedkar belong to?"
Rejecting her call for a debate, the retired police officer said, "Let her say what she has to say. Who is she to call me for a debate? Don’t drag me into all this."
At the rally in Agra on Thursday, Bharti had said rapists should be given a beating in public, "skinned" and salt and chilli should be applied to their wounds, and that she had ensured such punishment for rapists as CM. In her letter, Bharti said, "I have a kind heart. Even while washing my face in the washbasin, I ensure that ants are not washed away. But I can’t do injustice to an innocent or watch it happen. I don’t feel any compassion for those who harass girls and rape girls and women because I don’t consider them human beings. Hence, they don’t have any human rights… I can forgive anyone but not those who disrespect women, elderly, handicapped or cow. I continue to believe in handing out the strictest punishment to them."
Criticising Congress leaders for slamming her comments, Bharti said, "Some incidents are so crystal clear that no witnesses are required. Yet such criminals claim innocence in court and engage in character assassination of the victim. How can such people be worthy of human rights? If I get opportunities in future, I will award them strictest punishment."
Referring to the Naina Sahni tandoor murder case and the mysterious death of MP Congress leader Sarla Mishra, she said, "In both cases, Congress leaders were involved. It’s natural that the Congress will back such tyrants."
Asking The Indian Express to organise an "ideological debate" on the issue and invite Das to participate, Bharti said, "This issue does not relate to elections. Rather it is a matter of global concern. Recently, during the US elections, a lot of indecent remarks were made against President Donald Trump’s wife and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. All kinds of people — educated as well as illiterate — are part of this crime."