Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday sought lowering the age bar to 15 years for prosecuting suspected juvenile rapists as adults and recommended death penalty or life imprisonment for those found guilty of raping children.
He suggested stringent measures against rapists after the city was rocked by three incidents of child rape in the past week, triggering a blame game among the Aam Aadmi Party government, Delhi police and opposition parties on safety of women and children in the national capital.
“Rapists know nothing will happen to them. I don’t think all the bad people live only in Delhi and that people living in places like Kolkata, New York, London or Varanasi are saints. It is just that the fear of law is not there in Delhi,” Kejriwal told reporters after a meeting of his cabinet.
Existing laws say no suspected offender below the age of 18 can be prosecuted as adult for even heinous crimes such as rape.
“The world is seeing what is happening to India. People have a right to eat what they want. Are we living in Hindustan of Mohan Bhagwat or Sakshi Maharaj?” Rashid asked, a reference to the swirling controversy around cow slaughter following the mob lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq in Uttar Pradesh over beef consumption rumours.
The ink smearing was roundly condemned, with J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed calling the “unpleasant incident” most disturbing. Monday’s Sena attack left bilateral cricketing ties severely bruised with Thakur virtually ruling out early resumption of cricketing ties, saying the two governments needed to talk to each other first.
The two sides are expected to play in a highly-anticipated series in December, possibly at a neutral venue, a first after cricketing ties were scrapped following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
“If you are talking about the December series, in today’s atmosphere and situation, for me to say that it will happen is not easy. Until talks happen with the central government and between the two countries, it is not possible,” Thakur said.
Though several media reports said the talks had been rescheduled for Monday in Delhi, Thakur said no such formal talks were on the anvil.
Shiv Sena has a history of violent protests tied to cricket and has repeatedly insisted cultural or sporting ties could be renewed only when Islamabad stopped sponsoring terrorism.
It vandalised the BCCI office in 1999 to protest a Pakistan tour, damaging the World Cup and other trophies. The same year, Sena members dug up the pitch at Delhi’s Ferozshah Kotla stadium in an unsuccessful bid to stop a Test match.
The BJP strongly condemned the attack with state chief Raosaheb Danve saying the party was in favour of cricketing and cultural ties with Pakistan “If any India-Pakistan tie is held in Mumbai, we will give it all the security it needs,” he said.
But despite the criticism, the Sena praised its workers.
“The nation doesn’t want any ties with Pakistan. There is nothing wrong in the protest because our workers just went and spoke to Manohar, didn’t attack him,” said party MP Sanjay Raut.