Bangalore: The media is sensationalizing rape cases for better TRPs or Television Rating Points, Karnataka’s Home Minister KG George has controversially said as his government struggles to cope with incidents of child rape in Bangalore. “I stand by my comments,” he told NDTV today.
“We cannot concentrate on our investigation due to continuous media pressure,” Mr George said in an interview amid demands by a furious opposition that he resign immediately for comments targeting the media for reporting rapes.
The minister said he only meant that the media never played up good work by the police.
Mr George has earned criticism by commenting on Wednesday, “Nowadays, all media people… they are getting only this kind of news to increase TRP ratings. There is also good news, please play that in your channels. You are branding Bangalore as a rape city. Why generalize? Don’t sensationalize every bit of news.”
With the state government confronting public anger over the rise in rapes, the minister’s swipe at the media could not have come at a worse time. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been in trouble before for nodding off during a debate in the state assembly in July on sexual crimes, which was slammed as unusually callous behaviour.
Alleging an “anarchy situation” in Karnataka, the state BJP says that “like a warning on cigarette packs, Mr George continuing as home minister will be injurious to the health of the state.”
There have been four cases of sexual assault on schoolgirls in Bangalore since July. The state government has blamed schools for not protecting children. Opposition parties say the state government has also been too lax in its response to these crimes.
“In Karnataka, particularly in Bangalore, incidents like rapes and sexual harassment are increasing by the day. Our home minister has not taken any responsibility. I request him not to utter such things in future,” said BJP MP BS Yeddyurappa, former Chief Minister.
“Do your duty, if not possible, quit home ministership and give it to some other person,” he added.