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Police chief compares rape to sports betting

India’s chief of police advocates the legalisation of sports betting. Then he draws a crude comparison: if it cannot be prevented, similar to rape, “then enjoy it”.

Actually, it was about the legalisation of sports betting in India. This would allow the state to collect additional taxes, argued India’s police director Ranjit Sinha. However, a comparison between betting games and rape, which he drew in New Delhi, stuck. The very metropolis where a national trauma was triggered almost a year ago.

According to the Times of India, police chief Sinha said on Tuesday: “If there are state lotteries, if there are casinos for tourists and if the government is actually thinking about offering deals to tax evaders if they turn themselves in – where is the danger in allowing sports betting sites?

If he had finished his commentary at this point, the debate would probably have stayed on topic. The necessary authorities for control would already be in place. To cement his point, Sinha made a momentous comparison: “If you can’t enforce the law, it’s like saying if you can’t prevent rape, then enjoy it.”

“The top cop in the country?”

Later, according to NDTV news channel, Sinha said he “just used a saying to illustrate something”. But the damage was there. Several politicians called the comment disgusting and demanded his resignation. Since then, a tweet flood has been pouring over him on Twitter, oscillating between horror and cynicism.

“I think police chief Ranjit Sinha said it because he likes being raped by the political establishment for years,” it says. The name of the police chief appeared in the trend charts on Twitter shortly afterwards. “This… um… gentleman is the top policeman in the country?”, writes influential CNN journalist Sagarika Ghose. The commentary is further proof of the deep-seated hostility towards women in Indian society, is the tenor on Twitter.