Concerned over the unending protests in Lutyens Delhi over the gruesome gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman and violence directed at women, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has urged the government to convene an all-party meeting to discuss steps needed to address the volatile situation.
Ms. Swaraj, who on Saturday had asked the government to consider the possibility of a special session of Parliament to debate death penalty for rapists, on Sunday tweeted, appealing to youths not to resort to violence, saying this was not the solution.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, while announcing steps envisaged by the government to instil confidence among the people in general and women in particular, said that at the moment there was no need for a special session of Parliament.
Ms. Swaraj said she spoke to Mr. Shinde on the need for convening the meeting to “resolve the situation.”
“Please do not resort to violence. That is not the solution. It is our country. This is our problem. We will definitely find a solution,” Ms. Swaraj posted on Twitter.
“My young friends: We appreciate your feelings. Your anger is genuine. But please give us some time,” she posted.
She also suggested that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit should undertake night patrols of the city and visit police stations.
“When I took over as the Chief Minister of Delhi, the law and order situation was very bad. I promised people Main raat ko jagoongi taki Delhi wale chain se so saken. (I would stay awake the whole night so that people of Delhi could sleep in peace).
“I used to patrol the city and police stations the whole night. The newspaper headlines changed. Delhi CM should do precisely this,” she said. Ms. Swaraj was Delhi Chief Minister between October 13 and December three in 1998.
Reports of ‘anti-social and politically motivated’ elements infiltrating the ranks of the protesters and whispers of some political parties attempting to take advantage of the situation were a matter of serious concern to parties.
In her meeting with the Home Minister the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wanted the government to fix the responsibility on senior officers.The CPI (M) Polit Bureau criticised the police and said that the use of lathis, teargas and water cannons against the protesters, highlighted the utter insensitivity of the Delhi police and the Central and State governments on the issue.
In a press statement the CPI Central Secretariat demanded strong action which alone could give concrete assurance to the people that such heinous crimes against women would not be repeated in the capital and other areas.
“The Delhi Chief Minister expresses her helplessness as the Delhi police is under the Home Ministry. The statements of the Home Secretary and the Delhi police are irresponsible and refusing to accept accountability. This is not acceptable,” it said.