India: Police chief sparks further anger over rape comments


Indian students shout slogans as they wave a placard during a demonstration in Jammu on December 20, 2012, as they protest the rape of a young woman in the Indian capital. Riot police fired water cannon on December 19, at a protest in New Delhi over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student who was left fighting for her life as outrage against the brutal attack grew across India.



A senior Indian policeman provoked further anger after suggesting that women in India should avoid rape by not traveling after dark and carrying chill powder to throw at attackers.

KP Raghuvanshi, commissioner of police in Thane, a satellite city of Mumbai made the comments following days of protests and widespread anger in the country over the gang rape of a 23-year-old student in Delhi, the Guardian reported. The victim remains in critical condition.

Demonstrations sparked by the attack in Delhi have continued across India for the last few days, with protester, who are mostly students, blocking a national highway in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir to demand a death sentence for the six men who have been accused of attacks.

Ranjana Kumari, one of India's most prominent women's right activists said that Rahuvanshi's suggestion was entirely sexist.

"They want women to stay at home. And how is chill powder going to help against six or seven men?" she asked. 

Since Sunday's incident, at least five gang rapes have been reported in Uttar Pradesh, Rae Bareli, Rampur, Sonbhadra and Farrukhabad. The Uttar Pradesh incident almost went unreported because police wouldn't levy rape charges, and instead put the situation down as a molestation and theft, the Times of India reported.