BJP, Congress want tougher action in child rape cases

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Expressing serious concern over the brutal rape of a five-year old girl in the capital, the BJP Monday favoured death penalty to culprits responsible for such incidents, while the Congress sought an all-party meeting to make anti-rape bill more stringent.

BJP member Maya Singh, who initiated a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha on growing incidence of crimes against women, accused Delhi Police of callousness in its initial handling of the case of brutal rape of the five-year-old.

She said there was delay in probing the case after the parents of the girl lodged complaint and Rs.2,000 were offered to them to hush up the case.

Referring to remarks of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in which she called for action to stop such incidents, Maya Singh said women were feeling unsafe in the country.

“Who is in power? Who will take the steps?” she asked, demanding that the provisions of the anti-rape bill should be made tougher.

“There should be tough action,” she said and called for immediate death penalty to culprits of brutal rapes against children.

She said the brutality aginst the girl had happened even as the country was dealing with the shock of gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in the capital December last. The woman subsequently died of her injuries.

Maya Singh said it was the responsibility of the government to ensure safe childhood for each child.

Congress MP Prabha Thakur said incidents of brutality against women had taken place in several states of the country.

She urged Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to call an all-party meeting to make anti-rape bill more stringent.

Thakur suggested that the statement of victim and medical examination should be considered as enough evidence in cases of brutal rape and also called for death penalty in such cases.

She said an ordinance could be brought out to make anti-rape provisions tough.

Her references to incidents of crimes against women in Madhya Pradesh drew some protests from BJP members who asked her to substantiate her claims. Thakur alleged that culprits had not been caught in many such cases in the state.

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