Concern over child’s rape, 2G and coal stall parliament (Evening Lead)

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The first day of parliament after a month-long recess opened on a note of discord Monday with concerns over the rape of a five-year-old along with issues like irregularities in coal allocation and the draft JPC report on 2G spectrum disrupting both houses repeatedly.

While the Lok Sabha was adjourned till Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned several times till 2 p.m. after which it took up the debate of the rape and torture of a five-year-old girl in an east Delhi colony.

As protests spread over the rape of the child, who is recovering from her grievous injuries at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), BSP leader Mayawati said in the upper house: “Cases of rape and violence against women are on the rise all over the country. There is a need to rise above party politics and act to stop it.”

Participating in the discussion on security for women, she added: “We passed a tough law in the first half of the budget session, but law needs to be further amended and made tougher. A time frame should be fixed for the trial of such cases, and the criminals involved in such crimes should get the death sentence.”

BJP member Maya Singh also echoed the call for death sentence.

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 anti-rape bill should be made more tough.

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

In the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde table a statement.

“The joint CP (commissioner of police) (vigilance) has been asked to conduct an inquiry. The joint CP (vigilance) shall also inquire into the allegation that the local police paid some money to the father of the victim to hush up the case,” Shinde said in the statement.

But the opposition was in little mood to listen.

There was a din as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members demanded Shinde’s resignation over the issue and the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after several disruptions.

Recalling the Dec 16 gang-rape incident, the speaker had said earlier in the day: “Law alone cannot, however, prevent such incidents. A change in attitude of people and society only will check such inhuman crimes against children and women. I am sure the house would join me in condemning this barbaric incident and praying to god for the speedy recovery of the child.”

The heckling of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here and the issue of a separate state of Telangana were amongst the other issues that were taken up earlier.

In the Rajya Sabha, the morning started with Chairman Hamid Ansari admitting AIADMK leader V. Maitreyan’s notice on the CBI’s role in the coal block allocation scam.

Ansari said Maitreyan’s notice was accepted as it came first, but the other members refused to be pacified. This led to the house being stalled repeatedly and members argued whether question hour should be adjourned for the discussion.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the debate should be taken up later but opposition members did not agree.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley demanded that Law Minister Ashwini Kumar make a suo motu statement on the allegations of interference in the CBI report on coal block allocation.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla responded by saying he would have to ask the minister whether he would be able to make a statement.

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