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Farooq Abdullah: Scared now of appointing women secretaries
Friday December 6, 2013 6:46 PM, IANS

Men are scared of talking to women, as they fear ending up in jail, union New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah said Friday, as a reporter on the steps of Parliament House asked a question about Justice A.K. Ganguly.

Retired Supreme Court judge A.K. Ganguly was Thursday indicted by an apex court panel, which found evidence that he had sexually harassed a woman who was working as an intern. The report by the panel said the judge was guilty of "unwelcome behaviour".

"Now we are even afraid of talking to girls. We are scared now of appointing women secretaries," Abdullah said, while speaking with reporters, adding that what was at fault in the matter was society itself.

"I agree the incidents of rape have increased. Whatever is happening is wrong. It's not the fault of girls, but of society," he said.

The comments raked up a controversy, and social activists and opposition leaders said they were inappropriate.

"It's a very inappropriate comment, especially to be made on the steps of parliament, indicating that women are only to be hired so that they can be called up unfavourably or demeaned," BJP leader Smriti Irani said.

"Men who are sure of themselves will not make such comments. Those who are insecure make such statements," said former Indian Police Service officer and social activist Kiran Bedi.

Women and Child Welfare Minister Krishna Tirath said: "So far, women were afraid of men. Seems that is changing."

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