BJP questions ‘hush-hush’ cremation of Delhi gangrape victim

Offering its "profound condolences" to the gangrape victim's family and saluting her courage, the BJP on Sunday questioned the "hush-hush" manner in which she was cremated and slammed the "Emergency-like" restrictions against protests. The party also renewed its demand for a special Parliament session to adopt strict laws on crime against women.

BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said that former President Pratibha Patil had "publicly stated" that capital punishment of some of the criminals convicted of rape and murder was converted to life imprisonment or lighter sentences by signing the power of pardon on the recommendation of the Union Home Ministry. "The country today is certainly entitled to know why the government recommended a lighter punishment when the court has given a very very serious punishment" to those who were found involved in rape with murder, he said.

The party criticised the manner in which cremation of the victim was done. "The hurried manner in which cremation the done was avoidable. We understand the right of privacy. It has to be respected. But this hush-hush manner certainly raises a lot of curious questions too," Prasad said.

The BJP said that a proper debate in Parliament on the issue would "certainly be able to tap upon the serious sense of distress and dismay which is sweeping the country" after the "supreme sacrifice of that young brave daughter". "It is imperative that a special session of Parliament be called at the earliest which we have been demanding for some time," Prasad said. "The BJP, in principle, is in favour of stringent punishment provisions and speedy judicial process to deal with this problem. The government needs to come quickly with a proper structured response," he added.

Criticising the government for "converting Delhi into a chavni (cantonment)", he said this "unfair" act of authorities reminds of Emergency era and that "a nation in shock is certainly entitled to display its sense of despair, anger and pain...why should Delhi be sealed like this".

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