Delhi gangrape case to be tried on fast-track basis: Shinde

Sushil Kumar Shinde
The Delhi gangrape case will be tried on fast-track basis and action will be taken if lapses are found on part of the police, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday while promising steps for ensuring safety of women.

Replying to an impromptu discussion on Sunday's incident, Shinde said he agreed with the views expressed by members and promised to take necessary steps to ensure safety of women in Delhi.

He said four persons out of the six accused have already been arrested and further investigations are on.

Promising to take steps for ensuring safety of women in Delhi where law and order is under the direct control of the Union Home Ministry, Shinde said a special task force headed by the Home Secretary will be constituted to look into suggestions made by members in this regard.

He said all roads will be covered by PCR vans at night and specific routes used by women working in BPOs and call centres will be identified for increased patrolling by police.

Shinde said Delhi Police has issued orders to BPOs and other organisations to ensure that their women staff working in evening shifts are dropped at their doorstep. Besides, three helpline services for women would be launched.

He also mentioned that a Criminal Law Amendment Bill for dealing with sexual offences has already been introduced in Lok Sabha which seeks to enhance punishment for such crimes.

"I will inquire into this case. I shall take action," he assured the House when members questioned him as to what action had been taken by the Home Ministry so far against Delhi Police personnel in this particular case.

Shinde said the victim was taken to Safdarjung Hospital, where she is recuperating.

After the minister's reply, senior BJP member Ravi Shankar Prasad rose to ask what other PCR vans were doing when the bus was moving around for hours.

He was joined by party colleague Venkaiah Naidu, who sought reasons for delay in collecting details about the incident.

Jaya Bachchan (SP) told the minister, "Instead of saying I will try (to take action against culprits), you must say 'I will'. Why cannot the government be strong?"

Naresh Gujral (SAD) wanted to know whether the government would set a time frame to investigate the incident and punish culprits.

Responding to them, Shinde said, "It is true that the bus was moving for hours. It is a matter of investigation. I will conduct inquiry, I shall take action. Until investigation is completed, I do not want to make statement here."

Earlier, participating in the discussion, Jharna Das Baidya (CPI-M) asked the government to come up with strictest laws to punish culprits.

Gyan Prakash Pilania (BSP) said people will not be afraid of law if conviction rate is only 26 per cent.

Bimpla Kashyap Das (AGP) suggested death penalty for convicts of rape.

Javed Akhtar (Nom) said discussion on this alone will not suffice and suggested police reforms. He also proposed strictest action, but not capital punishment, against culprits.

Basavaraja Patil (BJP), Rama Jois (BJP) and Yogendra P Trivedi (NCP) also condemned the incident.

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