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Farooq Abdullah apologises for his comments on women

After facing criticism from various quarters over his comment about women made today while speaking to reporters Friday on the Justice AK Ganguly case, Farooq Abdullah has apologised for his remark.

Union New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah had said today that men are scared of talking to women, as they fear ending up in jail, while answering a question of a reporter on the steps of Parliament House about Justice A.K. Ganguly.

Retired Supreme Court judge A.K. Ganguly was Thursday indicted by an apex court panel, which found evidence that he had sexually harassed a woman who was working as an intern. The report by the panel said the judge was guilty of "unwelcome behaviour".

"Now we are even afraid of talking to girls. We are scared now of appointing women secretaries," Abdullah said, while speaking with reporters, adding that what was at fault in the matter was society itself.

"I agree the incidents of rape have increased. Whatever is happening is wrong. It's not the fault of girls, but of society," he said.

His comments created a controversy, and social activists and opposition leaders said they were inappropriate.

BJP's Smriti Irani said the comments were demeaning especially coming from such a senior leader. "It's a very inappropriate comment, especially to be made on the steps of parliament, indicating that women are only to be hired so that they can be called up unfavourably or demeaned," Smriti Irani said.

Congress' Ambika Soni said Farooq Abdullah is such a broad-minded person. I don't think he meant it seriously.

"Men who are sure of themselves will not make such comments. Those who are insecure make such statements," said former Indian Police Service officer and social activist Kiran Bedi.

Women and Child Welfare Minister Krishna Tirath said, "So far, women were afraid of men. Seems that is changing."

After wide-spread criticism, it seems finally the father listened to his son and apologised. Farooq Abdullah's son Omar tweeted: "I'm sure the attempt wasn't to trivialise important issue of women's security so I hope dad apologises for the misplaced attempt at humour."

After which it seems Farooq decided to apologise.