Parliament on Monday witnessed outrage over the gangrape of a young photo-journalist in Mumbai with many members demanding death for the culprits, as Government promised to take all possible steps to check such crimes.
In the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde assured the members of expeditious action against the accused.
Winding up a discussion in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh said, "The Government and the police forces will pull up their socks and take all steps to check these indicants with all our might." Singh said the number of rape incidents has been rising across the country and the government has taken several steps after the December 16 Delhi gangrape case to strengthen the laws.
"Do you really think that any Government or a police force alone would be able to stop these rapes. It is a much larger issue and we need to order a study to find these issues," he said.
On members demand for death penalty for rapists, Singh said the Government had consulted several women NGOs on the issue but none of them wanted it as this could lead to the death of all rape victims.
About disbursal of the Rs 1,000 crore Nirbhaya fund, he said discussions have been held by all the stakeholders including the Ministries of Home, Women and Child Development and Social Justice.
"The disbursal of funds would be done by the Finance Ministry and proposals have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance for clearance," Singh said.
Singh said the Government will expedite the use of the fund created five months ago for taking steps to enhance the safety and security of women.
Shinde's assurance in the Lok Sabha came after Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj asked whether any time-frame has been set for prosecuting those found guilty of the crime, while pointing out that those accused in the December 16 gangrape in Delhi had not yet been sentenced.
"You hang one or two of these beasts fast ... and these incidents will stop," an agitated Swaraj said amid thumping of desks and support by several members from various parties.
Assuring the agitated members that Maharashtra government would do its utmost to expeditiously prosecute the accused, Shinde condemned the incident and informed the House that all the five culprits have been arrested.
"Public order and police are subjects exclusively dealt with by the states. The state government of Maharashtra will do its utmost to complete the investigation of the crime and prosecute the accused under law expeditiously," Shinde said.
Reminding the government of the Delhi gangrape, Swaraj lamented that the case has not been expedited.
"I am saddened that the Damini (Delhi gangrape victim) case has not been expedited. Hang one or two (of the culprits) ... such incidents will stop," she said amid thumping of desks by various members.
"It seems there has a been a flood of such incidents in different parts of the country since then," she said.
While Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) demanded death penalty to all such culprits, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav condemned the incident and demanded action against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, against whom a complaint of rape has been lodged by a teenaged girl.
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta pointed out that many such incidents were occurring in various places, including Jharkhand where a woman constable was raped recently. He also shouted "Hang Asaram".
In response to the demands by members, Shinde said in Damini's case, the trial was going on a day to day basis.
With regard to Mumbai gangrape incident, the Minister said the matter would be expedited and taken to a fast track court.