Indian minister blames ‘western dress’ for sex attacks

An Indian minister faced a severe backlash Tuesday after he criticised women for dressing “like westerners” at a New Year’s Eve celebration where a mob allegedly carried out a series of sex assaults.

Although police have yet to charge anyone in connection with the violence on Saturday night in Bangalore, local media have carried testimony and photos of victims cowering from their attackers or fleeing for safety.

But a minister with responsiblity for policing in the southern state of Karnataka, whose largest city is Bangalore, said the “unfortunate” attacks were a consequence of women wearing western clothing.

“A large number of youngsters gathered — youngsters who are almost like westerners,” Karnataka’s Home Minister G Parameshwara told The Times Now television network, speaking in English.

“They try to copy westerners not only in mindset, but even the dressing, so some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kind of things do happen.”

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