With women members taking the lead, both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday expressed outrage over Sunday night’s gangrape in the capital.
The two Houses also saw a no-holds bar attack on the government and Delhi Police with members expressing both anger and anguish over the incident.
In the Lok Sabha, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj made a strong pitch for capital punishment for rape accused. In the Rajya Sabha, actor-turned-MP Jaya Bachchan broke down while voicing her concern over the safety of women.
Terming the incident as shame for the entire society, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar led the House in expressing outrage over the ‘spine-chilling’ incident.
"This is a serious issue. This is a heinous act,” she said.
Kumar asked the government to take immediate steps to prevent incidents like these. "We are upset and distressed over what happened," Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari said when the matter was raised in the morning. The capital punishment demand, though, did not find favour with Congress members such as Girija Vyas, who said such a penalty would lead to killing of women after rape.
Swaraj was supported by her party colleague in the Rajya Sabha Najma Heptulla, as well as DMK member Vasanthy Stanley and V Maitreyan (AIADMK), who said, "the culprits should be hanged till death".
Despite the difference over capital punishment, all MPs were one in condemning the incident and calling for action.
Vijaylakshmi Sadho of Congress said, "We must find a solution to such a serious issue."
Gundu Sudha Rani (TDP) felt sorry that such an incident took place in a country where women are worshipped. She and several MPs called for special courts to hear such cases.
"It is not an attempt to murder. It is murder. Today's laws are not enough. Special courts should be set up and there should be an exemplary punishment," Mohsina Kidwai, Congress, said.