Parliamentarian Lalu Prasad on Friday dared to put himself on the wrong side of the law while showing sympathy for the Delhi gangrape victim by naming the girl at a seminar in Kolkata.
However, the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief defended himself by saying that revealing the identity of a rape victim was allowed if she was dead.
He was speaking on “Women’s empowerment: Let’s talk safety first”, a seminar organised by the women’s wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
“I went to her home in Ballia (eastern Uttar Pradesh). Her name was … she was a brave-heart but was subjected to barbarism,” Prasad said, and repeated her name while using it as an allegory.
The former Bihar chief minister, who also served as railway minister, also said his party was in favour of capital punishment for rapists and it would raise the demand once Parliament started the budget session.
“Rapists should be hanged. India needs stronger laws that would scare any potential offender,” Prasad said.
Before the seminar began, Prasad told the invitees, “People portray me as an illiterate. But I’m an honours graduate and an LLB.”
The controversy on revealing the identities of rape victims started when Union minister of state for human resource department Shashi Tharoor had said the Delhi rape victim’s name should be made known and the nation should honour her by having a law named after her.
The issue became bigger when UK-based newspaper Daily Mirror published her name and said her father had allowed the paper to do so.
The father later denied this and said he would allow such a thing only if the anti-rape law was named after her.
Apart from Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail, The Week, France.24.com named the victim and her father.