DSP Shwetambari Sharma responds to Kathua defence lawyer's sexist comments, says she's hurt but unmoved by misogyny

Deputy Superintendent of Police Shwetambari Sharma, the sole woman officer probing the Kathua rape case, replied to the defence lawyer's misogynistic comments about her.

CNN-News18 interviewed defence counsel Ankur Sharma about the accused's perspective and asked him about their allegation that a Muslim team of investigators was probing the case with a biased view. When the news channel's reporter pointed out to Sharma that a Hindu officer was also part of the team, he had said, "She (Shwetambari) is a girl, how intelligent can she be?"

Shwetambari told NDTV, "It hurts when you are targeted and your intelligence is doubted just because you are a woman. What should I comment on such a chauvinist remark, the whole nation is there to comment on it." "Dukh to hota hai par mere hosle buland hain (I am hurt but I am not discouraged from my duty)," she told CNN-News18. 

DSP Shwetambari Sharma responds to Kathua defence lawyers sexist comments, says shes hurt but unmoved by misogyny

File image of Kathua lawyer Ankur Sharma. News18

On Wednesday, Jammu-based advocate Ankur had said, "Shwetambari kya hai, ladki hai. Uska kitna hi dimaag hoga (What is Shwetambari, she is a girl, how intelligent can she be?) She is a new officer and by showing her a few circumstantial evidence, some people made her believe that the crime has been committed in this fashion." The lawyer added that the bureaucrats and police officers are "mere puppets"  and if Shwetambari faced so many hurdles, she should have informed her superiors, News 18 reported.

"All witnesses examined by the crime branch have stated that they were tortured by the police and were always told what to say and what not to say. Around 40 to 50 people have said that they have been tortured by the crime branch to give favourable statements," the lawyer added.

When confronted by CNN-News18 to clarify his comments, Sharma said that what he meant was that the lady officer lacked the 'competence'. He then immediately took back his words and said 'not competence, I meant experience.' "She is new, she is inexperienced. There is a woman with 3-4 years of experience and a man with 25 years of experience. When four other people in that team are driving the investigation in a certain direction, how much can she say. She has just joined the probe and perhaps she was manipulated by the people who showed her the evidence," Sharma said.

Sharma's initial comments came after media reported about the challenges Shwetambari, faced during the investigation.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2018 15:28:46 IST

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