Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa yesterday advocated harsh punishment like chemical castration and death for rapists. The Tamil Nadu government would “request the centre to amend laws to ensure maximum punishment of death penalty and chemical castration for those responsible for rape,” she said in a statement here.
Her call came in the wake of the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim that has sparked nationwide protests and demand for stringent punishment for crimes against women. Jayalalithaa said her government would implement several measures for women’s safety and prevent sexual harassment. The steps include changes in the Goondas Act, establishment of fast-track courts in all 32 districts of the state to deal with sexual assault cases, deployment of police personnel in plain-clothes at market places and women’s colleges, funding entire medical expenses of women who suffer sexual assault and programmes for their rehabilitation.
Task force formed for women’s safety
New Delhi: The central government has set up a task force headed by the union home secretary to look into the safety of women in Delhi and to review the functioning of Delhi Police, an official release said yesterday.
The task force has been set after the assurance given by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to parliament last month following an uproar over the brutal gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in the capital on December 16. The woman died in a Singapore hospital last week.
The task force will also consider suggestions by members of parliament made during the debate on the issue of women’s safety in the winter session of parliament and continuously review actions taken by Delhi Police and the Delhi government.
The release said that the task force will include the chief secretary of Delhi, the Delhi Police commissioner, special commissioner police (traffic) and special commissioner police (law and order). It will also include the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, the chairperson of New Delhi Municipal Council, the transport commissioner and other government officials.
The government has already instituted a commission of inquiry to probe the December 16 gang-rape and any police lapses and suggest ways to make the city safer for women. It has also set up a panel headed by Justice (retd) J S Verma, former chief justice of India, to review the existing laws to provide for speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault against women.
24-hour helpline for tourists soon
New Delhi: A 24-hour toll-free helpline for tourists is being launched this year. Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi “approved the setting up of a multi-lingual helpline to provide general information and assistance to tourists”, an official statement said.
The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the apex body of the tourism industry, proposed setting up of a helpline during a meeting with the tourism ministry on Monday. “The helpline will be in the languages of the important source countries besides Hindi and English. The minister has directed that the toll free helpline should be accessible from everywhere in India and should start functioning in the new calendar year,” the statement said.
“The primary objective of the proposed helpline would be to provide tourism related information free to independent travelers,” it said. The IATO, while condemning the “shameful and tragic” gang rape, said the incident “has brought a very bad name to India”. IANS