The head of India's Central Bureau of Investigation is under fire for a controversial remark about rape, provoking his critics to say he should not head an agency handling several high-profile rape cases.
CBI chief Ranjit Sinha made the comment Tuesday during a conference about illegal sports gambling. He said if the state could not stop illegal gambling, it should legalize it and earn revenue.
In an apparent attempt to emphasize his point, Sinha said, "if you can't prevent rape, you enjoy it." A day later, on Wednesday, he issued a statement saying he regrets any hurt that he caused. He said he reiterates his "deep sense of regard and respect for women" and reaffirmed his "commitment for gender issues."
The leader of the Communist Party of India, Brinda Karat, has called for Sinha to step down as head of the CBI, India's top police organization. She said his remark trivializes rape. Other officials have also spoken out in protest.
Anti-rape laws have been in the spotlight in India since December, when a young woman died after a brutal gang rape. The case led to new anti-rape laws that allow for the death penalty for repeat offenders and attacks that lead to the death of a victim.