Asaram defends comment on Delhi gang-rape victim

He said that the Delhi gang-rape victim should have called her attackers brothers and recited the Saraswati mantra to avert the tragedy.

NEW DELHI: A day after his shocking comment blaming the Delhi gang-rape victim for inviting the brutal crime, self-proclaimed spiritual leader Asaram Bapu today called those opposing his views as barking dogs.

Blaming the media for misquoting his remark, Asaram said news channels were only interested in TRPs and were hence targeting him, a CNN-IBN report stated.

The Hindustan Times quoted Asaram as saying: 'The media has created a controversy but what wrong did I say? A man complained to me that his wife fights with him; I told him you can't clap with one hand.

One dog barked and more dogs (the media) joined in. Dogs will bark but they can't harm an elephant's dignity. I didn't intend to harm anybody; I wish the well being of all..'

Meanwhile, the family of the Delhi gang-rape victim termed Asaram's statement as illogical and said such remarks are not expected of him.

Speaking to reporters, the family of the deceased said such comments exposed Asaram's mentality.

Asaram had yesterday raised a furore when he blamed the victim for the horrific crime. He said that the Delhi gang-rape victim should have called her attackers "brothers" and recited the Saraswati mantra to avert the tragedy.

Asaram Bapu reportedly said, "The victim is as guilty as her rapists", adding one hand cannot clap.

The victim should have "begged" in front of the culprits, he said.

Speaking to a gathering of followers at Tonk town, some 100 km from Jaipur, Asaram Babu said: "The five or six drunken men were not the only ones guilty. The girl was also responsible..."

"She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop. This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don't think so," CNN-IBN quoted Asaram Bapu as saying.

"Had she recited the Saraswati mantra, she would not have boarded any bus after watching a movie with her boyfriend," he said.

The 23-year-old woman was gang-raped in a moving bus on the night of Dec 16, and brutally tortured. She died of her injuries Dec 29 in a Singapore hospital, two days after she was taken there for treatment.