Dresses reason for rape: Andhra Pradesh DGP Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh police chief has sparked off a row by saying that rapes are on the rise in the state because women in villages have started wearing salwar kameez. "Increase or decrease in rape cases could not be attributed to policing. Women in villages are turning fashionable, wearing salwar kameez which tends to provoke men," said Dinesh Reddy, DGP, Andhra Pradesh. The shocker came when the top cop was asked about the rising number of rape cases in the state. Official estimates put the number of rape cases recorded in the state this year at 1291. The DGP's remark has provoked widespread outrage and condemnation. Sabitha Indra Reddy, Home Minister, Andhra Pradesh said, "It's not the prerogative of either the DGP, or me or the government to decide what a woman should wear. There can be several reasons for a rape and our effort is to ensure the safety of women." Home Minister P Chidambaram has also spoken out on the issue saying the police has no business dictating dress codes to citizens. Chidambaram said, "I disagree with the statement. Everyone in this country is free to wear whatever they like. This is not an issue of policing. It was unexpected of a DG level officer to come up with such a statement." The DGP's office has now issued a clarification saying DGP Reddy's comments were misinterpreted. The question that arises here is - Can the police exempt itself of its responsibilities in this way? Are they right in putting the onus of a girl's safety on what she chooses to wear?