12:00 AM, December 19, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 19, 2012

Delhi gang-rape rocks India

MPs spar in parliament, demand death penalty; 4 arrested

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BBC Online


There has been an uproar in India's parliament yesterday over the gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a city bus in the capital, Delhi.
MPs from all parties have expressed their horror at the incident which has caused outrage in the country.
Police said they have arrested four people, including the bus driver, and are looking for two more people.
The student and her male friend were beaten, stripped and thrown out of the bus on Sunday evening.
They have been admitted to hospital, where the woman remains in a critical condition.
Yesterday, angry MPs in both houses set aside their regular business to discuss the gruesome rape case and demanded strict punishment for those who carried out the attack.
Senior leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party Sushma Swaraj called for the death penalty for rapists.
"What is the government doing to curb rape cases in the capital?" she asked. "The rapists should be hanged, we need tougher laws to stop rapes," she said in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament.
"I speak for the house when I ask the government to take the strongest measures to curb such incidents," Speaker Meira Kumar said.
In the Rajya Sabha, the upper house, MPs also demanded strict action against rapists.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde vowed to make the city safer for its women.
He said a new committee, headed by the home secretary, "will evaluate what needs to change, based on suggestions made in parliament by the MPs".
The minister said he would propose to "have this case tried by a fast-track court so that this case does not linger".
Delhi's rape figures are far higher than other Indian cities of comparable size, correspondents say.
According to official statistics, 572 rapes were reported in Delhi last year. Police say they have registered 635 rape cases this year.

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