Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a function organised to inaugurate the New Delhi City Centre near Jantar Mantar, which will house some offices of the ministry of home affairs (MHA), Chidambaram said, There are a large number of unauthorised colonies, and these migrants who settle in unauthorised colonies carry a kind of behaviour, which is unacceptable in any modern city. So crimes do take place.
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit was also present at the function.
The home minister, whose ministry is responsible for law and order in the Capital, was answering to a question about the rising number of rape cases in the city, in light of the gang-rape of an 18-year-old girl on Sunday in a moving car even as 600-700 policemen tried in vain to locate her and prevent the accused, who had kidnapped her, from outraging her modesty.
This was the fourth incident of abduction and gang-rape in a span of one month, with 433 cases of rapes having been reported so far this year in the Capital.
Chidambarams remark had an immediate reaction, with leaders of the Opposition as well as the ruling Congress criticising the minister for making such comments. The uproar forced him to withdraw the controversial remark.
The BJP described Chidambarams statement as irresponsible and said the home minister, to whom the Delhi Police reports, should not have tried to cover up his failures. This is an irresponsible statement. Congress leaders are taking out their frustrations over the partys defeat in Bihar, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said by blaming migrants, Chidambaram was passing the buck for the failures of his own ministry.
However, the Congress tried to downplay the controversy, with party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi saying, After the home minister himself clarified, there is no need for further comment. No one has condoned or justified such despicable acts against women and the entire gamut of causes, which led to such dastardly acts are being combated with full vigour.