Maintaining that crimes against women like rape are unacceptable, the Government today said they need to be curbed with an iron hand.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the role of the law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system have come in for critical comment after the December 16 brutal gang-rape and assault here of a 23-year-old woman, who died in a Singapore hospital last week.

“These kinds of incidents and rage against women and weaker sections of our society are unacceptable to our democracy. These need to be curbed with an iron hand,” he said, addressing a conference of top bureaucrats and the police brass convened in the wake of the Delhi gang-rape incident.

Shinde said even after 65 years of country’s independence, crimes against women and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have not declined despite having various legislations to check criminals.

“We need a reappraisal of the entire system, the role of all our stakeholders, the adequacy of our laws, the effectiveness of enforcement at the cutting edge level, the need for increased awareness and sensitivity starting at the school level and covering all people residing at the margins of our society,” he said.

The Home Minister said it was apparent that legislations were only one part of the solution but the principal difficulty lies at the implementation level where sometimes the ground realities become a barrier for effective implementation of the law.

“Prompt action against all offenders of crime will alone bring about respect of law. Our primary objective is to identify such barriers, suggest modifications required in our law and in the procedures and methodology of investigation, so that the trial concluded early and the guilty punished in a time-bound manner,” he said.

(This article was published on January 4, 2013)
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