President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday expressed anguish over the brutal rape of a five year-old that has outraged the nation.

“I am shocked and deeply anguished at the latest incident of sexual assault and rape of a five-year-old child in Delhi. I join her family in praying for speedy recovery and call upon concerned authorities to ensure the best possible medical attention for her,” Mr. Mukherjee said in his message.

“Erosion of values”

While advocating punishment for the perpetrator of the crime, Mr. Mukherjee also called for prevention of such horrifying crimes against women and children.

“Urgent steps must be taken to bring the perpetrators to immediate justice. As a society, we must introspect on the erosion of values and our repeated failure to ensure the security of our women and children. We must identify the causes and find solutions for such criminal depravity in our midst. Let us pledge to put all our energy and effort into ensuring that such aberrations which stain our moral fibre and standing as a society are prevented.”

Vice-President Hamid Ansari said: “I am deeply saddened and outraged at the brutal rape of the five-year-old. My thoughts and prayers are for speedy recovery of the child.”

Mr. Ansari said: “Apart from bringing the perpetrator of this heinous crime to justice expeditiously, it is critical for all of us to reflect on why these barbaric acts keep recurring in our midst. We need to collectively work towards urgently changing the regressive mindset vis-à-vis our womenfolk prevalent in our society. Else, our heads would continue to hang in shame and we will lose our right to be called a civilised, progressive society.”

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