Patna, Jan. 7: Chief minister Nitish Kumar today demanded tough punishment aided with speedy trial against culprits of molestation and rape and rubbished talks about “dressing sense” and “dress codes” for women.
“There should be tough punishment to such offenders. But more than that, punishment should be handed down through a speedy trial process,” he told reporters after the weekly janata durbar at his 1 Aney Marg residence.
Nitish, however, said the Centre had already constituted a committee, headed by former Supreme Court Chief Justice J.S. Verma, to bring about a change in laws to deal with such offenders.
“Let us wait for the expert committee report to come out. It will be appropriate to give specific suggestions only after the committee comes out with its suggestions.”
The recent gang rape in New Delhi has triggered outcry across the nation and fuelled debates on the dressing sense of women with some orthodox leaders and hardliner outfits prescribing “modest attires for girls at public places”.
Nitish whole-heartedly supporte the indignant voice against the rape of the girl in a bus in Delhi but dismissed talks about the dress code as “waste of time”.
He said: “You cannot dictate half of the population how and what they should wear. Why there are no talks about the dressing sense of men? Such discussions are sheer waste of time in the current scenario.”
The chief minister asserted that there was the need for the men to control themselves, “rather than imparting lessons in dressing sense to the women”.
On the state of affairs related to women’s issues in Bihar, Nitish said the state has women police stations in all districts.
“Bihar has also set an example in convicting culprits of tormenting the modesty of a Japanese tourist in Bodhgaya around four years ago. The prosecuting agencies had submitted chargesheet in the case, enabling the court to complete the trial and hand down the conviction in a week’s time,” he said.
“It is not that we have resorted to some knee jerk reaction. Bihar is alert to vulnerability of the women. We have been trying our best to ensure better safety and security to women in the state,” Nitish added.
Asked about Maharastra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray’s comment link- ing Bihar migrants with stepped-up crime in cities, the chief minister said: “He (Raj) is in the habit of speaking poison for cheap popularity. It is futile to react on the remarks of such people.”