The Andhra Pradesh Women Commission Chairperson Nannapaneni Rajakumari sparked a controversy after she urged the state government to set up a similar commission for men.
Nannapaneni was speaking to mediapersons at the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi on Wednesday, about a case where a man was murdered by his wife, after the latter hired people to commit the crime.
“I have always opposed violence against women. If a woman is sexually assaulted or gets beaten up, she has the right to defend herself. I have similar sympathy for men who are being targeted by women in illicit relationships with other men. I will stand by them and seek justice for them,” she told reporters.
The chairperson also laid the blame for the rising number of instances on TV serials, where she said that women are being portrayed as 'evil' characters who will hatch a murder plot for frivolous reasons.
Stating that this was 'inducing' cruelty into some women, Nannapaneni also said that she had written to the Centre on the matter but received a response that said that the censor board can only be applied to cinema and not TV serials.
She said that she would take up the issue with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and the Centre.
The chairperson also expressed concern over the increasing number of crimes against women across the state.
Nannapaneni is seen as a slightly controversial figure due to the statements she has made in the past.
In 2017, after visiting two minor girls who were gang raped by eight men in Visakhapatnam district, she asked girls to 'carry knives' and 'chop off the genitals' of any man who tries to force himself on her.
Media channels flashed visuals of a teary-eyed Rajakumari stepping out, after meeting with the girls, and even breaking down in front of the cameras.
"They (the accused) forced themselves on the two girls and thrashed their friends. This is very bad. They are behaving like animals,” she said.
Rajakumari went on to add, "I'm saying this as the Chairperson only. Every girl should carry a knife when she goes out, so that when a person tries to force himself like an animal, she should cut off his genitals."