Barabanki (Uttar Pradesh): A BJP leader from Barabanki, facing over 44 criminal cases, called the Hathras victim a wayward, " awaara" during a TV channel interview Tuesday night.
Ranjeet Bahadur Srivastava asked why "such" girls are found dead in cane and millet fields.
The BJP leader claims the four uppercaste men accused of raping the 19-year-old Dalit girl are "innocent".
The teen was 'having an affair with the accused' and had called him to the millet field on September 14, the day of the crime, he claimed.
"The victim must have called the boy to the field because they were having an affair. This news is already out on social media and news channels. She must have got caught after that," he reportedly said in the interview.
"Such girls are found dead in only some places. They will be found dead in sugarcane, corn and millet fields or in bushes, gutters or forests. Why are they never found dead in paddy or wheat fields?" he asked.
With crops like sugarcane, corn and millet he implies that they are taller in height and can conceal a person while wheat and paddy grow up to only three or four feet in height, according to IANS
Then the BJP leader said that no one ever witnesses such crimes when they occur or sees the victim being dragged away from the crime spot.
Srivastava went on to defend the four accused, urging for their release from prison till the CBI files a charge sheet in the case.
"I can say with guarantee these boys are innocent. If they are not released in time, they will keep facing mental harassment. Who will return their lost youth? Will the government give them compensation?" he demanded.
Responding to Srivastava's statements, the National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma said, "He is not fit to be called the leader of any party. He is showing his primitive and sick mindset and I am going to send a notice to him."
The horrifying statements come days after BJP MLA from Ballia, Surendra Singh said that "sanskar (values) should be instilled in girls to prevent incidents of rape".
This report from IANS has been edited