Will make rape law more stringent, says Shinde


In the face of widespread protests against the gangrape of the 23-year-old in the city, the Centre on Saturday announced that an inquiry commission would be set up to "review responses to this shocking crime and to suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women in the capital".

Addressing a press conference, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the government will also "take immediate steps for the amendment of the criminal law for enhanced and more effective punishment in the rarest of the rare cases of sexual assault such as this". He added that "this is a matter which needs discussion in detail".

Earlier in the day, Shinde met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who directed him to ensure a "sense of security" in the capital. Congress president Sonia Gandhi also spoke to the PM and sought strict and immediate action in the case.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj called for a special session of Parliament. "I requested the Prime Minister for a special session of Parliament to frame a law to provide for exemplary punishment for crimes against women," Swaraj tweeted. "Prime Minister said he will consider this suggestion."

Assuring a "speedy trial through a fast-track court on a day-to-day basis", Shinde said the Delhi police had suspended five personnel for "minor lapses".

"Prompt action has also been taken against the transporter whose bus was used for this heinous crime. Permits for all the nine vehicles owned by this transporter have been cancelled," he said.

Appealing for "calm", Shinde, who met some representatives of the protestors, said he would order an inquiry into the action taken against them by the Delhi Police. "I am also feeling bad about it. They had come to show their solidarity," he said, while appealing that the protests be called off.

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