Highlighting several incidents of rape in Bihar, Lok Jan Shakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan drove home the fact that rape was a serious concern in Bihar, contrary to the government’s projection of the State being safe for women.

He expressed concerns over untoward consequences of legislating death penalty for rapists. “The outrage in Delhi is unprecedented. We all condemn the incident. So has Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. However, a similar situation exists in Bihar where incidents of rape occur frequently. There was a gang rape incident here [in June]. On December 17, there was an incident in Saharsa district where a girl was injured while resisting gang-rape,” Mr. Paswan told a press conference here on Sunday.

Commenting on the demand for death penalty in rape cases, Mr. Paswan said he was not in its favour. “Over a hundred countries have passed a resolution to abolish death penalty. We are from the socialist movement, so we are not for it. Nothing can be worse than gang-rape, but I am concerned about the possible adverse consequences of the death penalty. Fearing the punishment, the accused might resort to murdering the victim and destroying evidence, where he would normally rape and walk away,” he said.

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