Barely a month after framing tougher laws to deal with crimes against women, MPs again discussed on Monday the issue of rape, particularly child victims, and demanded that nothing short of the death penalty be given to convicts in such cases.

Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha, who were discussing last week’s child rape case, lambasted the Delhi police for failing to check sexual assaults.

Cutting across party lines, the members urged Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to immediately call an all-party meeting to evolve a strategy to deal with such heinous crimes. They called for re-amending the recently enacted anti-rape law.

Upset at the growing number of rapes in the country, especially targeting children, women MPs said Parliament should frame laws that would act as a real deterrent. While Maya Singh (BJP) stressed the need to re-look the new anti-rape law, Mayawati (BSP) sought police reforms and time-bound action against culprits.

Sitaram Yechury (CP-M) noted that rape cases were growing despite new laws, and urged the government not to take the recent Delhi rape case in a “piecemeal manner.” He blamed the government’s “neo-economic liberalised policies” for unleashing “animal spirit” in society.

Similarly, Sivanand Tiwari (Janata Dal-United]) said modern India was going through a social crisis due to decline in values, while Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party) blamed western influence and vulgar movies and advertisements for the erosion of the value system.

On the other hand, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said: “Law alone cannot prevent such incidents. Only a change in the attitude of people and society will check such inhumane crimes against children and women... Though Parliament has recently passed tougher legislation to prevent rapes, the evil has not abated. ”

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