Even as anger over the gangrape of a 23-year-old continued to boil in Parliament on Wednesday, several women MPs — cutting across political lines — sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar for preventing such incidents in the future.
The MPs sought Singh’s help to establish a fast-track judicial system that could deal with assaults on women in the capital. They also sought legal amendments to existing laws for putting stringent measures in place, and ensuring that the dignity of the victim is protected during trials into rape and harassment cases.
“We also told the PM that there should be a dedicated trust on women’s issues. Some of us will meet the lieutenant governor of Delhi since he is its administrative head,” Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury said.
When the women MPs — including Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Akali Dal) and Yashodhara Raje Scindia (BJP) — approached Kumar, she called home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and women and child development minister Krishna Tirath to her office. Shinde promptly agreed to a suggestion that a woman commissioner, with a dedicated hotline to address women’s issues, be appointed in the Delhi Police. Tirath, for her part, said she would consider the MPs’ suggestions. “We have asked the home minister to review existing laws. Rape should be made a non-bailable offence,” Scindia said.