Wednesday 22 November 2017

Indian politicians call for castration of sex offenders amid continuing anger over death of medical student

Rob Williams

INDIAN politicians are proposing new measures to punish sex offenders, including chemical castration, following the death of a student who was gang-raped on a bus in Delhi.

As the body of the as yet unnamed 23-year-old was cremated, protesters returned to the streets to show their anger over what they say is a epidemic of violence against women, and politicians put forward proposals for dealing with offenders.

A senior member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Venkiah Naidu, told the Times Of India: "There should be maximum punishment to the rapists, death penalty or emasculation (chemical castration)".

The Indian government is being urged by the BJP to hold an emergency parliamentary session to discuss women’s safety

Venkiah Naidu's statements echo Congress Party recommendations calling for the castration of rapists, which have been set out in a draft bill calling for tougher laws to punish those committing crimes against women.

The bill is reported to contain proposals including 30-year prison sentences for rapists, the establishing of fast-track courts and the amendment of the juvenile justice act to reduce the age limit on those legally identified as youngsters.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy student died two days ago from internal wounds in a Singapore hospital.

Six men have since been arrested and charged with murder in the December 16 attack.

Yesterday, the victim's body was cremated in a ceremony held under tight security in Delhi after being transferred from a hospital in Singapore where the woman had been taken for treatment.

The case has prompted public outrage, provoking protests against what is seen as police and government inaction on the issue of women's safety.

Large areas of Delhi were sealed off over the weekend and riot troops were deployed amid fears that trouble may erupt. Candlelit vigils were also held to mourn the murdered woman.

In response to the public mood India's army and navy have scrapped their New Year's celebrations, as did Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling Congress party.

Hotels and clubs across the capital also said they would forego their usual parties.

Independent News Service

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