Parliamentarians express anger over rape cases in India
The issue of rape cases in India on Monday rocked the winter session of Parliament as MPs expressed outrage, demanding death penalty and other stringent measures for those convicted.
The discussions in both Houses of Parliament were held amid growing anger over the rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian last week as well as other incidents that have raised a hue and cry over the safety of women in the nation.
Death penalty for rapists, lynching of convicts in public and castration of those convicted were among demands made in Rajya Sabha. A similar discussion was held in Lok Sabha.
Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu rejected adjournment motions on the gangrape and murder of the young woman veterinarian but allowed members to make brief mentions on the same and other such incidents elsewhere in the country.
Members cutting across party lines condemned the recent spurt in crime against women and demanded stringent laws that punishes the guilty within a fixed time-frame.
While Naidu described the Hyderabad incident as a disgrace to humanity, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the society will have to tackle this problem at its root.
The guilty should be given stringent punishment without any discrimination of religion or caste, Azad said.
Samajwadi Party's Jaya Bachchan wanted security personnel in-charge of the area in Hyderabad where the crime took place be held accountable and questions be asked.
She suggested that the rapists should be 'brought out in public and lynched.'
DMK's P. Wilson said courts should be empowered to surgically and chemically castrate convicted rapists before they are released from jails so as to check repeat offenders.
The cost of such procedure should be recovered from the accused by selling his assets, he said, adding the list of sexual offenders should also be made public.
Mohd. Ali Khan of the Congress wanted timelines be set for trial of accused in fast track courts and the accused not be given an religious colour.
The accused in the Hyderabad incident belong to four separate religions and not one, he said.
Sanjay Singh of the Aam Adami Party (AAP) said stringent action in all cases of sexual assault on women should be taken after a trial in fast track court and punishment given within a timeframe.
Amar Patnaik of the BJD demanded death for such heinous crimes.
While T. K. Rangarajan of CPI(M) said laws be framed to tackle the crime, Vaiko of the DMK wanted concrete action be taken to deal with such crimes.
Santanu Sen of the TMC wanted strong steps be taken for giving out exemplary punishment to the guilty.
Raising the issue of delay in police action in the Hyderabad incident over jurisdiction dispute between police stations, Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar (TDP) demanded capital punishment for the rapists in public.
While Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) said deterrence is not enough, R. K. Sinha of the BJP said capital punishment is yet to be given to the guilty of the 2012 gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi due to appeals in the case.
Vijila Sathyananth (AIAMDK) demanded that fast track courts for trial in rape cases as well as a complete ban on sale of drugs that was fuelling such incidents.
In Lok Sabha, as soon as the House met for the day, speaker Om Birla said he would allow members to raise the 'serious issue' in Zero Hour.
Uttam Kumar Reddy (Congress) raised the issue of the rape and murder of the veterinarian and slammed the Telangana home minister for his purported 'insensitive' remarks.
He also slammed the state police for initially delaying to lodge a case.
T. R. Baalu (DMK) raised the issue of sexual assault of a school girl in Coimbatore.
Saugat Roy (TMC) said rape convicts should be hanged.
Pinaki Misra (BJD) questioned the delay in executing the death sentence awarded to convicts in the 'Nirbhaya' gang-rape case.
He said laws and establishment on fast track courts will not make a differences till the time the death sentences are not executed.
The charred body of the woman, who worked as an assistant veterinarian at a state-run hospital, was found under a culvert in Shadnagar in Hyderabad on November 28, a day after she went missing.
Four men, all lorry workers, aged between 20 and 24, were arrested on November 29 on charges of raping and killing the woman and had been sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Saturday.