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On the day five men appeared in court charged with the rape and murder of an Indian student, controversial remarks by a spiritual leader have fanned the flames of outrage over the tragedy, Euronews reports .Many have been angered by the much followed Asaram after he suggested the 23-year-old victim bore responsibility for her attack on board a Delhi bus. He also voiced opposition to any new laws to protect woman saying rape charges could always be fabricated. Asharam, known to his followers as “Bapu” or father, told his devotees that blame for the assault on a moving bus in New Delhi on December 16 should not just rest with her attackers. “This tragedy would not have happened if she had chanted God’s name and fallen at the feet of the attackers. The error was not committed by just one side,” he said in video footage which has been widely circulated on the internet, The Telegraph reported. Ravi Shankar Prasad, spokesman for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said the statement was “deeply disturbing and painful”. “For him to make the statement in relation to a crime which has shocked the conscience of the country is not only unfortunate but deeply regrettable,” he told reporters. The Hindu newspaper said it was “a disgrace when a man of religion stoops so low”. “Asharam deserves to be condemned in the strongest words,” the daily added in an editorial. The editorial also criticised politicians from the ruling Congress party as well as the BJP for their sexist commentary on the Delhi rape and the need for Indian women to stay home and make traditional choices. Abhijit Mukherjee, the son of India’s president who is a Congress lawmaker, landed himself in hot water last month after comparing women who took part in protests over the gang-rape to patched up second-hand cars. Echoing outrage seen in the streets of Indian cities after a deadly gang-rape in New Delhi, protesters in India’s northern neighbor Nepal are also demanding their government take action over violence against women, CNN informs. For almost two weeks, demonstrators across Nepal have chanted slogans and massed outside official buildings, including the prime minister’s residence, demanding better protection of women and criticizing what they describe as the government’s delayed response to issues such as rape and abuse.Some protesters in Nepal credit the Indian protests with bringing the issue of women’s safety to wider attention. Meanwhile the five accused of the brutal gang rape were formally charged with kidnapping, rape and murder, a sixth – a teenager – will later appear before a juvenile court. The next hearing is set for later this week. The case has sharpened long-standing anger against the government, police and India’s judicial system for a perceived failure to protect women.