Women groups demand stringent rape law

Ask Swaraj to apologise for calling victim zinda laash

Women’s groups have demanded a stringent rape law and say they are against the demand of death penalty as “rape is not equivalent to murder or death.”

Activists have argued that conviction rate needs to be higher and women should be assured that their complaints will be registered rather than police officials dissuading them to do so.

They have also demanded  an apology from BJP leader Sushma Swaraj for calling the 23-year-old rape victim a “zinda laash”.

“Available data shows that there is a low rate of conviction in rape cases and a strong possibility that the death penalty would lower this conviction rate even further as it is awarded only under the ‘rarest of rare’ circumstances, said Vrinda Grover, lawyer and activist.

“The most important factor that can act as a deterrent is the certainty of punishment, rather than the severity of its form,” she added.

Current law

Grover said the present Indian rape law recognises only non-consensual peno-vaginal sexual intercourse as “rape” and all the other forms are considered lesser than rape.
“What about incidents of women being stripped naked and then raped? The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012 has serious flaws. We had written to the Home Ministry regarding our objections but did not receive a reply,” said Grover.

Objections were raised over present forensic examinations done on victims like “two fingers are still used to check if the girl has been sexually active and if the girl refuses for this exam, the doctor writes on the report that the girl has not been cooperative,” added Grover.

Activists raised objections over making sexual assault neutral in the amendment bill. “We believe that the victim can be gender neutral but the accused cannot only be a man, said Deepa from Saheli. “What about police atrocities, continuous crimes done under the aegis of laws like AFSPA. Demands for castration and death penalty is disturbing,” she added.

Gyanwati from Action India pointed out that people should be sensitised to bring about an attitudinal change. “A 15-year-old girl who is visually impaired was recently raped by a boy and when we tried to intervene the parents took them aside and got them married,” Deepa said.

“Life does not end after a girl or a woman is raped. We need to take action against these men,” she said.

BJP to stage protest today 

The pradesh BJP unit will hold a public meeting on Tuesday to protest against the gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student. The failed law and order situation in the city, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

National BJP president Nitin Gadkari, senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu, and opposition leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra will address the meeting to be held at Talkatora Stadium.
A blood donation camp will also be organised at the venue on the birthday of former BJP president Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta said thousands of party workers are expected to donate blood on the occasion.

Gupta added that the Bharatiya Janata Party will not tolerate the government’s way of escaping from its responsibility by lathicharging the enraged students.

“Demands will be made in the meeting to take stern action against the ministers responsible. Both the state and Central government remain insensitive to the issue,” he said.

“It doesn’t seem improper to them to beat up unarmed peacefully demonstrating students.”

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