Maharashtra Home Minister Downplays Azmi's Remarks

Following the controversy raked by SP leader Abu Azmi that western influence had ruined Indian culture and led to increasing atrocities against women including rapes, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil today urged people to "ignore" such comments.

"Their comments shouldn't be taken seriously," Patil said here when asked by reporters to comment on the statement of Azmi.

He also asked the media not to give them much publicity and rather "ignore them."

Azmi had yesterday said that young girls and women should not go out with men other than relatives.

Patil, however, informed that state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had accepted the proposal by the Home department to start 25 fast-track courts to deal with cases related to atrocities against women.

Stressing upon the need to increase conviction rate in the state, he said there should be better co-ordination between lawyers and investigation agency.

"I have spoken on the issue with Maharashtra DGP Sanjeev Dayal that until the police have sufficient and strong evidences against the accused, charge-sheet shouldn't be filed in the court," Patil said.

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