The huge turn out of youth at the Raisina Hill, country’s power centre, and its siege that continued till late in the evening on Saturday forced a bumbling UPA government to finally think of steps that could soothe the tempers erupting over gangrape of the 23 year old paramedic student fighting for life.
Late in the evening, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, after holding an emergency meeting with prime minister Manmohan Singh, announced taking immediate steps to amend the criminal law for enhanced and more effective punishment in the rarest of rare cases of sexual assault and setting up a commission of inquiry to review responses to the shocking crime. The commission of inquiry will also be entrusted to suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women.
Without elaborating on what “rarest of the rare” means, information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said it would be defined after having discussions with the law minister.
The announcement came after anguished protestors coming on their own to show solidarity for rape victims laid a day-long siege of 3-km-long Rajpath from India Gate to the President House not allowing any of the key ministries to function. Finally, the PM called an emergency meeting at his residence that was attended by Shinde, law minister Ashwani Kumar, national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and home secretary RK Singh.
Shinde also said the policemen whose dereliction of duty led to this horrific crime have been identified and suspended.
Minister for state (home) RPN Singh said till the time he is in the ministry he will undertake a bus journey every month to ensure that effective steps are being taken to ensure safety of women passengers.