Use 2013 to strengthen laws to protect women, says BJP

New Delhi, Dec 31 (IANS) Reiterating its demand for a special session of parliament, the BJP Monday said that 2013 should be used to strengthen all laws related to crimes against women and that action would be the "real tribute" to the young gang-rape victim who died Saturday.

"We have said we will not celebrate the New Year. But not celebrating will not be enough. This year (2013) should be dedicated for the safety of women. Even if they (government) don't call a special session, the budget session should be used for amending all laws for protecting women," Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.

"If we can do all this in 2013, I will say 'Damini's sacrifice is not wasted. That will be the real tribute," she said at the Bharatiya Janata Party-organised condolence meet for the gang-rape victim in the capital.

Damini is one of the pseudo names being used for the victim.

"Whether it is in the special session or budget session, some days should be dedicated completely to make laws on crimes against women more stringent," she said.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley also said that legislators should meet as soon as possible to amend anti-rape laws.

"Legislators and parliament should get an opportunity very soon to think on the rape laws. The law should be such that criminals are afraid of committing such a crime," he said.

Jaitley said the judicial process should be such that justice is meted out to the victim within a few days or weeks and police complete the probe quickly.

Moreover, he said, "there is a need to change the attitude of the society towards women".

Sushma Swaraj accused the government of staging a drama instead of taking action. She added that if the government would not call a special session of parliament, the budget session should be used to make stronger laws to protect women.

"Instead of taking any action, they (the government) are only staging a drama. I asked the prime minister to call a special session (of parliament). But my demand was rejected."

"I also asked them to call an all-party meet. That demand was also rejected," she said, adding: "Even if they don't call a special session, the budget session should be used for amending all laws for protecting women."

The budget session usually starts in mid-February.

The condolence meet was organised at Bharatiya Janata party's Delhi state unit office at Pandit Pant Marg in the national capital. Sushma Swaraj and Jaitley also met the victim's family Monday morning.

The 23-year-old woman, who was raped and brutally beaten Dec 16, died in a hospital in Singapore Saturday. Her body was brought to India and cremated Sunday morning.

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