As pressure mounts over the government to take swift action in recent rape cases, including that of Kathua and Unnao, which have triggered nationwide outrage, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would pay more attention towards the security of women in India.
The IMF managing director also termed the Kathua rape incident, where an eight-year-old girl was kidnapped, drugged and held for several days while she was raped repeatedly and then murdered, as “revolting”.
“What has happened (in India) is just revolting. I would hope that the Indian authorities, starting with Prime Minister Modi pay more attention because it is needed for the women of India,” Lagarde said.
This is the second time in four months that Lagarde has asked Prime Minister Modi to improve the conditions for women in the country. At the World Economic Forum, which held in Davos in January, Lagarde said she had told PM Modi that his speech did not mention much about the women in India.
“When I was last in Davos after Prime Minister Modi’s speech, I did tell him that he had not mentioned the women of India enough. And it’s not just a question of talking about them,” IMF chief said.
However, she quickly clarified that this was her personal position and not that of the IMF.
“By the way this is not an IMF official position. It is my position,” news agency PTI quoted Lagarde as saying.
Lagarde’s latest reminder to Indian authorities to take care of the women of the country comes at a time when three rape incidents – Kathua, Unnao and Surat – have sparked anger among people.
The apparent silence that PM Modi and senior leaders maintained following the incidents added to the outrage.
However, the Prime Minister did break his silence and make a fleeting reference over the incidents and promised justice to country’s daughter at an event last week but many activists insist that he needs to speak, and do more.
Also, during his trip to Sweden and UK, PM Modi while addressing the Indian diaspora in London said such incidents should not be politicised as a rape is a rape.
The anger among NRIs over the incidents back home was evident when hundreds of protesters greeted him with placards “Modi go home” when he arrived in London for bilateral talks with British PM Theresa May and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.