Parliament concerned over child's rape, members demand death for rapists
The first day of parliament's resumed session Monday after a month-long recess opened on a note of discord Monday with concerns over the brutal rape of a five-year-old as well as alleged irregularities in coal block allocation and the draft JPC report on 2G spectrum leading to repeated adjournments in both houses.
While the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned several times till 2 p.m. after which it debated the rape and torture of a five-year-old girl in Delhi that has caused widespread outrage.
As protests spread over the rape of the girl, who is recovering at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), most upper house members demanded death as punishment for rape of minors.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati said: "We passed a tough law in the first half of the budget session, but the 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."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Maya Singh referred to remarks of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in which she called for action to stop such incidents and said women were feeling unsafe in the country.
"Who is in power? Who will take the steps?" There should be tough action," she said, and called for immediate death penalty to culprits of brutal rapes against children.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said the rise in rapes and crimes was not just a question of policing but an indication of "something seriously wrong in society that is getting more and more depraved, this is the issue that this house must try and correct".
He also blamed "patriarchal mores" in society for rising crimes.
"It is not modernity, but modernoxity - intoxication with modern things" where people flaunt modern brands, but while fixing up a marriage they go into the caste and sub caste and where people prefer the birth of a boy to a girl," he said.
Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav said "there was a need to check influences that were polluting the minds of people."
In the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde tabled 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 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, 2012 gang-rape incident, speaker Meira Kumar said: "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 by Students Federation of India activists in the capital 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.
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 said he would have to ask the minister whether he would be able to make a statement.
(Posted on 22-04-2013)