Taapsee Pannu, Urmila Matondkar, Pooja Bhatt slam NCW member’s victim-blaming comments about Budaun gang-rape

Members of the film community such as Taapsee Pannu, Pooja Bhatt and Urmila Matondkar have condemned comments made by a National Commission for Women member, who seemingly took a victim-blaming tone while discussing the Budaun rape.

NCW member Chandramukhi Devi on Thursday said a 50-year-old woman’s gang-rape and murder could have been avoided had she not stepped out at night. “Women should not go out at odd times under the influence of any person,” she said, in a video being widely circulated on social media. “I think this incident would not have occurred if the woman had not stepped out of her house alone or had she been accompanied by a [male] child of the family.”

Pooja Bhatt, tagging NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma, asked in a tweet, “Respected @NCWIndia @sharmarekha Do you stand by this statement by your representative in context to the Badaun rape case. Kindly clarify if you agree with your representative that the victim was at fault for stepping out to visit a temple unaccompanied and at the time she did.”

Rekha replied, “No I don’t..I don’t know how and why the member has said this but women have all the right move on their will whenever and wherever they want to. It’s society and state’s duty to make places safe for women.” Pooja thanked her for her prompt response, and wrote back, “Truly appreciate your prompt response and your view on the same. Truly hope we can rely on you to sensitise the said representative & ensure she retracts her statement and expresses genuine remorse for the same with immediate effect. Thank you again.”

In a tweet, Urmila commented, “This mentality is what needs to change from within..n till then there is no hope of betterment. How can women only victimise other women like this..sad n unfortunate.” Taapsee wrote, “If people with her kind of thinking didn’t exist in this country toh aisi ghatna nahi hoti (then this incident would not have happened). #Hopeless #Shame.” Model and former Bigg Boss contestant, Diandra Soares, wrote, “Wow. Really just wow. We in 2021 right ?????? I’m so bloody confused!!!!”

Also read: Budaun gang-rape case: NCW takes cognizance, to meet victim’s kin

On Sunday, the 50-year-old woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Her family members have accused the temple priest and his aides of raping and murdering her. A case has been registered against the accused, and two of them were arrested on Tuesday night, while the priest is still absconding.

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