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Centre mulls bringing more rigorous laws against rape


New Delhi

Lok Sabha members on Monday expressed outrage over rape cases in various parts of the country, including the Hyderabad rape and murder case, even as the Centre said it was ready for a discussion and willing to explore stringent provisions in laws to check such incidents.

Responding to a discussion during Zero Hour in the wake of the rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was falling short of words to condemn the heinous crime.

“We are ready for discussions in the House so that stringent provisions in laws could be explored to give punishment to those involved in such ghastly incidents,” he said.

The minister said the incident has hurt everyone.

He observed that such heinous crimes were happening even after strict law were framed post the Nirbhaya incident.

As soon as the House met for the day, Speaker Om Birla said he would allow members to raise the “serious issue” in the Zero Hour.

Terming the rape of the young veterinarian in Hyderabad as “painful” and an “inhuman” incident, Uttam Kumar Reddy (INC) slammed the Telangana Home Minister for his purported “insensitive” remarks.

 He also slammed the state police for the delay in lodging a case.

It also blamed the sale of liquor in Telangana for the unfortunate incident and demanded that fast track court should pronounce a quick verdict and hang the accused.

T R Baalu (DMK) raised the issue of sexual assault of a school girl in Coimbatore.

Expressing serious concern over incidents of sexual violence against women, the National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued notices to the Centre and all states and UTs seeking reports on the standard operating procedures to deal with such cases and use of the  Nirbhaya Fund.

The commission observed that the largest democracy in the world, which has adopted the

longest written Constitution and has a rich cultural heritage of gender equality, is today being criticised for having the “most unsafe environment for women”.

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports on “rising” cases of sexual assault, the rights panel issued notices to the chief secretaries of all states and Union territories seeking reports within six weeks about the status of Nirbhaya Fund in their states including details about availability of the fund and the money spent during the last three years.

The commission has also issued notices to the DGPs of all states and UTs calling for their response within six weeks about the SOPs and the best practices adopted by them to deal with matters relating to sexual abuse and atrocities against women, including details of the action taken against the police officers or officials found insensitive and guilty of negligence towards issues related to women.

“The commission has also considered it necessary to call for a detailed report from the secretary, Union ministry of women and child development, giving details about the schemes or guidelines initiated by the Union government and status of their implementation, including Nirbhaya Fund, by the states and UTs. The response is expected within six weeks,” the NHRC said.

Meanwhile, a court has posted for Tuesday a petition filed by police seeking 10-day custody of the four people arrested for raping and murdering a woman veterinarian, even as protests continued in parts of Telangana demanding death penalty for the accused.

The Shadnagar court near here also directed issuance of notices to the four accused after the Shadnagar Bar Association decided that it will not represent and offer any legal services to them.

The Cyberabad police filed the petition for custodial interrogation of the accused, a senior police official told PTI.

The official said they would complete the probe in a time-bound manner.

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