MPs in LS unanimously seek tough action in gang rape cases
The Unnao, Malda and Hyderabad rape cases reverberated in the Lok Sabha on Friday with parliamentarians cutting across party lines unanimously demanding a strict law to deal with such gruesome crimes and expedite the legal procedures to avert attacks on the victims.
The members agreed not to politicise such brutal incidents and keep the focus on the "sensitive handling" of these cases in spite of their becoming "sensational".
Referring to the attempt to burn the Unnao rape victim, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury attacked the Uttar Pradesh government's functioning and said: "One side Ram temple is being constructed, another side 'Sita Maiya' (mother) is being burnt".
"In spite of becoming 'Uttam Pradesh' (best state), Uttar Pradesh has come to the verge of becoming 'Adham Pradesh' (worst state). The state government should give a reply on the issue."
Raising the issue in the Lower House during Zero Hour, Chowdhury said: "In spite of the volcanic anger, gang rape incidents have been occurring across the nation. There is no respite from this brutal crime."
"We talk a lot on laws here including death penalty, but it seems we are 'Paise ke Buddhimaan' and Pound ke 'murkh hai' (penny wise, pound foolish). Hyderabad, Malda in West Bengal and now in Unnao rapes have happened. Where should India's people go?," Chowdhury said.
In the Unnao case, the Congress leader said the accused, who were released four days ago, burnt the victim and she suffered 95 per cent burn injuries.
"How these accused were released? What is happening in the country? Hyderabad police shot dead the rape accused, but the Uttar Pradesh police released them, which led them to commit the crime."
Union Minister Smriti Irani hit out at the opposition for politicising such incidents.
In a veiled attack on the Trinamool Congress, she said: "Rape incidents were used as a political weapon in West Bengal elections."
BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to look into the Unnao incident.
On the Hyderabad rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in which all the four accused were shot dead by the police in an 'encounter' early on Friday, Lekhi said: "If anyone will try to flee after committing a brutal crime, police will use their guns."
Asking for strict action in such crimes, the MP urged that such issues should not be sensationalised.
"There is an attempt to create a wrong atmosphere in the country. In a country of 130 crore people, there will be some bad people but 99 per cent people are good. If we see the data, India's figure is 5 to 7 per cent. In Scandinavian countries the data is 55 per cent, the US (36 per cent) and in the UK it is 35 per cent. But, such incidents are not written on the front page, they are put inside. And, it is informed that India is not safe for women.
"There should be strict action against such crimes. Expeditious disposal should be done legally and there should be thinking to change the mentality of men. But, there should be sensitive handling instead of sensationalisation."
Arguing for police reform in the country, BSP's Danish Ali said why do the police fall silent when the accused approach the court to get bail. "Why the police did not oppose the bail of the accused like the way they should do? What happened in Unnao really reflects lack in the will of the state police and the government. There should be expeditious judicial process to hang convicts as soon as possible in all such cases."
BJD's Anubhav Mohanty said it is good when we discuss such issues unanimously, but it is also sad when we connect communal issues with this topic. "A woman is a human being. Such matters should not be politicised neither inside the House nor outside."
Trinamool Congress' Saugata Roy said he doesn't know how many times such incidents have been happening in the country and everytime we discuss these issues.
"There is a need to give death sentence to the rapists as soon as possible. House recently discussed that 'Nirbhaya kand' convicts were still not given punishment even after seven years of the incident despite the fact that we had provision to give strict punishment to them. Justice delayed is justice denied.
"Hyderabad rapists were shot by police. I am against encounters, but people are supporting the act of Hyderabad police. I appeal for a strict law and expeditious arrangement for the conviction of the accused."
Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant said that there is a need to maintain the fear of law to curb such incidents. "Telangana did wrong or right, but the whole world is giving blessings to them. There should be a law to punish criminals within one month and such cases should be sent to the Supreme Court directly."
Rajiv Ranjan from Janata Dal (United) demanded a tough law and expeditious trial for such crimes.
Condemning the Unnao incident in which the accused tried to burn the victim, Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel said there should be a "fear of system" to avoid such crimes. "Death sentence was awarded in Nirbhaya case, but it was not executed. We will have to hang criminals to instil fear of the system."IANS