How did three Danes end up being tortured in Lebanon?
At 15 Omar went to Guantanamo. Here's his story
01 Jul 2014 21:01 GMT | Asia
An Indian politician has apologised after he was captured on video threatening the rape of his political rivals, in what he said was "a gross error of judgement".
Tapas Pal of the regional All India Trinamool Congress Party admitted his remarks had caused "dismay and consternation" on Tuesday after initially denying he had made the rape comment.
"I have no excuses to offer. It was a gross error of judgement and deeply insensitive," Pal, 55, said in a statement."It should not have happened. And I assure you it will not happen again," he said.
Amid widespread outrage in India over a series of recent high-profile rapes, Pal could be clearly heard bragging of his ability to order attacks against his left-wing opponents.
"If CPI-M (Communist Party of India - Marxist) tries to kill and intimidate our workers... I will not spare them. I will let loose my men to rape your women," he said in an address to followers in late May which was filmed on a phone.
His comments drew widespread condemnation, including from Trinamool which is the fourth largest party in parliament and whose support is concentrated in the state of West Bengal.
"We do not in any way endorse what he said," party spokesman Derek O'Brien told reporters, adding that party leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was "hopping mad" about the remarks.
Pal, who is also a minor film star in the Kolkata-based movie industry, tried to limit the damage by claiming he had been misquoted.
"I never said rape. I said raid. I said they should raid all the people and places, including women and old," he told CNN-IBN TV channel earlier on Tuesday.
However even his own wife Nandini said the politician was out of line.
"I feel terrible about it. Whatever he has said, it is not right being a member of the parliament," she told reporters in Kolkata.
The head of the National Commission for Women said Pal's position was now untenable.
"He should resign. This is a very unfortunate statement," said the commission's head Mamata Sharma.
"Mamata Banerjee should take action against him - he should be suspended."
Brinda Karat, a leader from the communist party, told reporters that the comments were "completely unacceptable" and Pal "must be suspended" from the Lok Sabha, India's lower House of parliament.
India brought in tougher laws last year against sex offenders after the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi in December 2012, but the laws have have failed to stem the tide of violence against women across the country.
In May, two girls aged 12 and 14 were found hanging from a mango tree in the state of Uttar Pradesh. They had been abducted and gang-raped.
There are number of reasons for rapes in country ranging from misogyny and caste prejudice to poverty and more.
Bollywood star leads campaign for gender equality.
Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments
are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct
or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and
global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in
accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
Normalised Cuba-US relations could result in a hybrid economic model blending socialism and entrepreneurial spirit.
Business & Economy, Communism, Politics
Chasing dreams in an unlikely place, foreign footballers play in Somalia as country rebuilds from decades of conflict.
Sport, Africa, Somalia
Many of the 7,000 sex workers in this Kolkata red-light district say they have no other options for survival.
Asia, India, Women
Wedged between Ukraine and Romania, one of Europe's poorest nations must choose between the regional powers.
Poverty & Development, Politics, Europe
Military says more than 100 fighters killed in response to wave of attacks on security forces claimed by ISIL affiliate.
Middle East, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula
Medics in Yemen barely have tools to tend to physical wounds of Yemeni children, let alone psychological ones.
War & Conflict, Middle East, Yemen, War
After decades of tension and hostility between the two nations, has change finally come to US-Cuba relations?
As the Baku games close, we examine the challenges facing journalists; plus, Angola, Portugal and 'reverse colonialism'.
Media, Europe, Azerbaijan
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
Politics, Football, Latin America
The ICC chief prosecutor discusses Sudan's president escaping justice in South Africa and alleged war crimes in Gaza.
Politics, ICC, South Africa