Fast-track trial in Delhi gang-rape case, says Shinde

New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) The Delhi gang-rape case will be tried by a fast-track court with request for daily hearings, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told the Rajya Sabha Tuesday and said action will be taken against police for any lapses in security of women.

Replying to concerns of members who expressed anguish and outrage at the torture and gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus here Sunday night, Shinde said a special task force under the home secretary will be be constituted to look into safety issues of women in the capital.

He said the task force will take into account suggestions made by the MPs and try to bring them into action.

"Many good suggestions have come. I have taken note of it," Shinde said.

Member after member expressed outrage over the shocking incident, which has left the attacked woman in a critical condition in a hospital.

Shinde promised "immediate action" in the case and said he agreed with the members that it was a matter of concern for the country.

Speaking of steps taken by police for safety of women, he said all roads were covered by Police Control Room vans at night, the frequency of patrolling was kept high and specific routes have been identified which are used by women returning from their work places like call centres.

The minister said three dedicated helplines have been set up for women.

He said Delhi Police had "detected the case without loss of time" and arrested four of the six accused in the case. Teams have been dispatched to nab others.

"It is proposed to have this case tried by a fast-track court (with) request for day-to-day hearing so that the trial does not linger," Shinde said.

The minister said he will talk to police and ensure steps "that need to be taken are taken" for safety of women. Strict action will be taken against police officers concerned in case of lapses.

The minister said that BPO centres and other establishments have been asked to drop their workers at the doorsteps at night.

Shinde also said that the criminal law amendment bill has already been introduced in the Lok Sabha with the aim of rationalising various sections dealing with sexual offences against women so that the conviction rate improves.

He said the amendment also seeks to increase punishment for crimes against women.

Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha discussed the torture and gang-rape of the physiotherapy student in Delhi and asked the government to take stern steps against her attackers.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj even demanded that rapists should be hanged.

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