The issue erupted after Dr Mirge, who is a member of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), said that the Delhi student who was fatally gang-raped on a moving bus should not have been out late at night watching a movie. She also said that the photographer gang-raped while shooting a deserted mill in the heart of Mumbai placed herself in danger by visiting the area at 6 pm.

“Girls should be careful about what they wear. They should mind the time of their moving out. Girls’ body language should not be such that it invites attention of a potential rapist lurking around,” she said.

Dr. Mirge later apologised for her insensitive comments.

When MiD DAY approached Shah, she first categorically stated that Mirge was not making an official statement on behalf of the team.

“Mirge, who is a doctor and gynaecologist, was voicing a personal opinion at the meet. Even though I concede she was wrong, I do agree on one point that women should be aware of their surroundings,” she said.

She further said that as 21st century citizens of India, women had full liberty, and there was no need to give out any advice to them. Shah added that Mirge had apologized for her comment and that the media should now put it to rest.

“She made a mistake and I think the media should concentrate on what work we are doing, instead of these controversies,” Shah said.

“Let us keep in mind that the comments made were a personal viewpoint and a bit of tolerance should be shown by the media. She may have hurt some people, but she has apologized,” she added.

NCW sends notice to Mirge

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has sought an explanation from Mirge for her remarks. Taking suo motu cognizance of the remarks, the NCW said her comments were “bizarre” and the worst remarks made by anyone occupying an official position.

“She has made a bizarre and outrageous statement blaming the Delhi victim and the Shakti Mills survivor for inviting trouble and getting victimised at the hands of rapists. This gives a message that rapes happen because of women who do not follow the rules of patriarchal society,” NCW member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar said.

According to officials, the commission has sent a letter to her seeking an explanation within seven days.

Mirge's remarks on women and rape ‘insensitive’: NCP

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) distanced itself from Mirge’s remarks on women and rape, saying they are ‘insensitive’.

"The person concerned who has made such a statement is insensitive, has no business to do it and does not belong to the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) in any capacity for us to react and take notice of," NCP leader and Union Minister Praful Patel said here.

"I am hearing her name (Asha Mirge) for the first time that I should react to somebody who claims to be from my party. If at all somebody has made such an insensitive statement, we will take action if the person belongs to our party," he added.


Latest News from India News Desk