Wednesday, November 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Govt wants death for rapists
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 26
In a significant statement of intent, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani today assured the Lok Sabha that the government was in favour of death sentence for rapists and would like to enact a law after evolving a consensus on the issue.

“I feel the punishment for rape should be death. However, I would like to get the point of view of political parties and state governments in this regard,” he said intervening during question hour.

With members demanding stringent punishment for those guilty of rape, Mr Advani said many members had expressed the view that if someone committed murder, the person was hanged. But, rape was worse than that, but no such punishment was meted out to the culprit.

Stating that he had supported such a stringent punishment for rapists way back in 1998, the Deputy Prime Minister added that many states and women’s organisations were not in favour of such a punishment.

Earlier, a strong demand was made in the House that the fair sex be given adequate protection and laws regarding rape be amended.

Ms Margaret Alva (Congress) said, “The way women are being raped, hope we are safe at least in Parliament”.

Her party colleague Renuka Chowdhury sought to know “what is the problem in implementing laws on preventing atrocities against women.”

An agitated Ms Chowdhury, who appeared unhappy over the inaction in rape cases, said, “We are being kept out of Parliament and that is also a kind of a rape. Why are you not implementing the 33 per cent seat reservation for women in elected bodies.”

In his reply, Minister of State for Home I.D. Swami outlined various measures taken to protect women, including setting up of police stations manned by women and establishment of a cell to deal with crimes against women.

He said the government had involved 12,000 NGOs dealing specifically with issues related to women and the Centre had asked state governments to help these organisations.

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