Adopt Arab ways on rape, or legalise prostitutioin: Congress

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New Delhi: A day after the Juvenile Justice Board declared the sixth accused in the December 16 gangrape case as minor, Congress leader Alka Lamba today demanded that he be made to undergo a bone test for verification of age.
The accused, whose act was described as the most brutal of the accused by Delhi Police in its charge sheet, was declared as 17 years, six months and 24 days old as on yesterday by the JJB, which relied on his birth certificate and school documents produced before it.
“Why the bone density test is not accepted? The school certificates at times are not authentic. There are instances when parents change their child’s age to get admission in schools to avoid missing one year. Therefore bone density test should be conducted for determining the age,” the All India Congress Committee secretary told an event organised here by the women’s wing of industry body Assocham.
The existing scientific methods should be used for determining the age because the crime committed by the youngest accused is unpardonable, she said, adding he should be tried as a criminal irrespective of his age.
Expressing disappointment over Justice J S Verma Committee’s recommendations, Lamba said, “Death sentence and castration of rape accused are not part of the committee’s recommendations. These were demands of protesters.
“Either we should follow the Arab countries where stringent punishment is in place for the accused or else, we should legalise prostitution the way its been done in other countries.”
She, however, hoped the state governments would take serious steps to implement the committee’s recommendations.
Echoing her views, Assocham Ladies League Global Chairperson Harbeen Arora said, “We want the youngest accused to be tried as a criminal notwithstanding the age. This is the rarest case and the brutal crime has jolted the entire nation.
Due strictest punishment should be given. We share the views of the victim’s family that all six accused must be hanged.”
Emphasising the need for men to change their attitude towards women, noted fashion designer Ritu Beri said, “Rape is the fastest growing crime in the country. No matter whatever law or fast-track courts are in place, nothing will change unless men in the society change their attitude towards women.”
Indian Institute of Dalit Studies Director Nidhi Sadana Sabharwal said law alone will not address the problem as the “attitude of family and state should change. This can happen through education and awareness about safety’.
Assocham’s women wing released a survey report on ‘Women Safety’ that recommended that cases of crime and violence against women should be tried by women magistrates, statements of women complainants should be attended by women police constables and evidence should be taken in-camera to reduce stigma in public.
The report also suggested check on migration, change in mindset of seeing girl as an asset, mandatory teaching of women’s legal rights in schools and colleges and sustained awareness campaigns among others.

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