A public opinion survey carried out in the Capital in the wake of the gruesome gang-rape of the 23-year-old woman in a moving bus on Sunday night has revealed that many people hold “soft courts” responsible for recurrence of such crimes.

Asked who they held most responsible for such crimes, whether “soft courts, “soft laws” or a “lazy and inefficient police force”, a whopping 85 per cent of the respondents (540 in all) blamed “soft courts”, stating that they let off culprits involved in crimes against women. In all, 75 per cent respondents said “soft laws” failed to create effective deterrence, while 55 per cent blamed the police or lack of policing.

“Forty per cent respondents blamed the Central Government and its control over the Delhi Police, whereas 35 per cent were of the opinion that lack of security was owing to the police pre-occupation with and their deployment for guarding VIPs. And 25 per cent respondents held the perpetrators of the crime solely responsible,” noted the survey conducted by the Delhi-based Shyam Vyas MARC.

Asked if they felt that governmental authorities like political leaders in power should resign for having failed to provide basic safety to women, 55 per cent responded in the affirmative, whereas the others declined.

According to the survey, 75 per cent respondents said they would keep such issues in mind while voting in the next elections, stating that they would vote out those presently in power. Asked if it was enough for a Chief Minister or Home Minister or police authorities to show sympathy for victims, or pay some money as compensation to victim (s) -- even as they did nothing in concrete terms that actually ensured bringing the crime graph down -- 100 per cent respondents said it was not enough and that they were fed up of inaction on the part of the authorities. Sixty per cent of the respondents favoured death penalty, quicker justice and tough laws, while 20 per cent wanted the rapists to be castrated and tortured and 95 per cent respondents wanted harshest possible punishment in cases of crimes against women.

The survey states that 80 per cent respondent wanted CCTV cameras installed in all buses, while an equal number suggested deployment of two civil defence personnel in buses in the vulnerable areas between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

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