New Delhi: The brutal gangrape and assault of a 23-year-old para-medical student from Dehra Dun in the national capital on Sunday night in a private chartered bus has the nation up in arms. The issue rocked Parliament on Tuesday with the Rajya Sabha being adjourned over it. The BJP demanded a statement from Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and women MPs of the party threatened to stage a dharna in the capital on Wednesday.
In the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj demanded death penalty for rapists. Sushma said, "The 23-year-old girl was with a male friend and it was not too late either. It was 9.30 pm. And if a woman is not safe even then, then it is a shame. If this girl survives, she will be a living dead. These people should be given capital punishment."
Sushma Swaraj was followed by Girija Vyas who decried the decline in law and order situation in the city. She said, "There has been a laxity in police patrolling. There is a huge security lapse. When a woman gets murdered, she gets killed once. But when she gets raped, she dies again and again."
Speaker Meira Kumar exhorted the government to take strict measures over the issue without delay. "This is a serious issue. This is a heinous act. I will allow you to raise the matter during Zero Hour," she said.
In the Rajya Sabha, an emotional Jaya Bachchan said that she had been left totally shaken and speechless by the crime. "Our culture and belief that women are goddesses... all have been laid waste today. What is happening in the country and the capital is shocking." JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari called the Delhi gangrape a failure of the Delhi police. He spoke about the recent reports from Kerala of rapes being committed by family members. "Kerala is considered the most educated state and from there also there is news of fathers and brothers raping their daughters and sisters. What then do we expect from other states?" he asked.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O'Brien said that rape was not a women's issue alone and called in for mobilising the public through social media.
Meanwhile, massive protests were carried out by students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University on the Ring Road near the Munirka signal. The girl, along with her male friend, had boarded the bus from Munirka to go to Palam, where the girl stays.
National Commission for Women chief Mamta Sharma even demanded death penalty for the accused. "Only life imprisonment or death penalty can deter rapists," she said. Retired IPS officer and IAC activist Kiran Bedi demanded police reforms and randomised patrolling of areas throughout the capital. She even had a strong message for the "mothers of India". She exhorted them to instill strong moral values in their sons so that they grow up respecting women.
A woman protester at JNU said, "Everyday these things are happening... We have been protesting.. don't know since how many days and years now, but nothing has been happening. Look at the kind of answers the police and the Chief Minister give." Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit had said in the aftermath of the incident that law and order in the capital was not in her hands.
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