Delhi gangrape - Castration or Death: Sonia Gandhi makes secrecy-shrouded pitch

With the nation numbed by the barbarous Delhi gangrape, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has stepped in to make some key suggestions to the government for stricter laws on sex crimes against women and enhanced punishment to perpetrators.

"The Congress President has had detailed consultations with some senior party leaders and legal experts on how to make more effective laws regarding sex crimes against women so that more stringent punishment could be meted out swiftly to perpetrators. Certain views have been taken.

"I feel she must have given some of these suggestions to the government. My feeling is that some measure will come up incorporating these suggestions as well on the basis of the recommendations of the Justice J S Verma Committee," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters here.

Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary, who had earlier raised the demand for chemical castration of rapists at a closed-door meeting with Gandhi and a group of protestors last week, today made a strong pitch for maintaining a register of rape convicts, sources said.

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She made the demand in a meeting of women leaders in AICC chaired by senior leader Mohsina Kidwai, which also saw some more party leaders, including MPs, suggesting capital punishment as well chemical castration for rapists.

Dwivedi refused to specify details of suggestions made to Gandhi or what the Congress President conveyed to the government.

At the AICC briefing, Chowdhary said that the Congress President has held discussions with different stakeholders and experts so that a "very strong legislation" to check such crimes can come up.

"There has been on-going discussions. Chemical castration may be just one of the options examined. May be she (Gandhi) talked to the government...All options are open to be examined," she said, evading questions whether the demand of chemical castration could be considered.

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