Reacting to the sexual harassment allegations against retired Supreme Court Justice AK Ganguly, Farooq said: “The incident of rapes and sexual assault on women have risen so much that I am scared of speaking to women these days.”

“You never know what lands you in jail today. That's the reason why I don’t even think of keeping a woman secretary,” he added.

The National Conference leader, however, later apologized after his comment came under sharp criticism from woman lawmakers and social activists with some of them pointing out that he was trying to trivialize sexual harassment.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also expressed regret over his father’s controversial remark, and said that he should apologise for the same.

The National Conference chief is not the first politician to court controversy for his comments on women. Following the sexual assault allegation against Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal had said the companies were scared of hiring women.

Abdullah draws flak from women leaders over employment remark

Cutting across party lines, women leaders criticized Abdullah for his controversial statement.
"In our constitution, both the genders have equal rights but so far, women have been living in fear. If someone thinks so, that mindset should be changed," Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath told reporters outside the Parliament.
BJP leader Smriti Irani expressed surprise over Abdullah's remarks and said it was "inappropriate" for a senior Minister to make a statement that indicates that "women can be hired and called upon favorably and they can be demeaned at workplace."
Irani said people should understand that it is a very sensitive issue and should not give an indication "that if a women speaks about her rights at work place, that is a sign of danger."
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said it was "irresponsible for such a senior Minister to say such a thing when the country is shocked that men in higher office use their offices to make unwelcome sexual advances."
Karat said a statement like this implies that women should not make complaints against sexual harassment and if she does, she will be unemployable. "The other implication is that all these are false charges. It is highly inappropriate and he should withdraw his statement immediately," Karat demanded.


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