A BJP legislator on Sunday justified the lynching of a man accused of rape in Nagaland and called for a law allowing rapists to be hanged in public to deter others.
Usha Thakur, the MLA from Indore and vice-president of BJP’s Madhya Pradesh unit, said there was a need for a “stern law” to deal with rapists. “Such criminals should be hanged in full public view and their last rites should not be performed," she told reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark International Women's Day.
"Rapists are not humans. By spoiling one's life, they do something which is worse than animals...Such acts deserve rigorous punishment," she said. She claimed hypocrisy in the name of human rights that benefits perpetrators of crimes against women should end.
Tough laws are needed for crimes against women, especially rape, and rapists should be given severe punishment through quick trials, she added.
Thakur said a rapist should not be treated leniently even if he is a minor. She demanded that in rape cases, the upper age limit for juveniles under the criminal justice system should be lowered to 14.
The lynching of a 35-year-old man accused of rape last week in Dimapur has evoked shock and revulsion across the country. Officials have said the charge of rape is yet to be substantiated.
Congress party leaders condemned Thakur’s remarks. Party spokesperson Narendra Saluja said Thakur made the statement only to draw public attention, toe the RSS ideology and become a state minister.