Political leaders cut across party lines Friday to condemn the gangrape of a photojournalist in Mumbai. A union minister said the crime will be dealt in the most severe manner while the BJP described it as "beyond tolerance".
"It will be dealt in the most severe manner. Our country cannot afford to have our women and children insecure in the hands of the attackers," said Kapil Sibal, communications and information technology minister, outside the Parliament House.
A 22-year-old photojournalist, working for an English magazine, was gangraped in Mumbai's Shakti Mills compound Thursday. She was accompanied by her male colleague who was brutally thrashed by the assailants. The photojournalist suffered grievous internal injuries. Four people have so far been detained in this connection by the police.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said: "It is very unfortunate and the more we talk about it is not enough. When the Dec 23 gangrape occurred in Delhi, within a few days a new legislation was proposed in the parliament. I am hopeful that the legislation will now be soon implemented."
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded answers from the Maharashtra government.
"The gangrape that has happened is beyond tolerance. A photojournalist goes for work and if she is not safe who is safe then? The chief minister should answer what steps they are taking," said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.
BJP MP Smriti Irani too questioned the government.
"What step is the government taking to stop such actions? The legislation introduced in parliament had changed the definition of rape, but there was no structural relief, so that the earlier pending cases could be expedited in the lower court. How many more daughters will be sacrificed, when will the government rise," she asked.