Meghalaya protesters mourn death of Delhi gang-rape victim

Shillong, Dec 29 (IANS) Over a 100 people Saturday took part in a silent candlelight vigil here in memory of the Delhi gang-rape victim.

The protesters demanded a stronger law against rape and proper investigations to ensure justice to victims of rape.

"As of today, rapists are walking scot-free and the government is doing little about it. The government should enact a stronger law to deal with such cases," Civil Society Women's Organisation supremo, Agnes Kharshiing, who led the candlelight vigil at Don Bosco Square.

Kharshiing urged the government to take stringent steps against such crimes by initiating thorough investigation into rape cases and also expediting investigation by setting specific time limits.

Mandalin Lyngdoh Nongbri, a college student, demanded such cases should be properly investigated and charge sheeted swiftly by the police. "Most importantly, fast track courts must adjudicate rape cases."

Other protesters noted that though there are laws, their proper administration is lacking.

"Police goof up the cases because they are inept. Then they harass the victims by asking uncomfortable questions. The right thing to do is ask little and get into investigation as soon as such cases are reported," said a student.

Meanwhile, former union minister of state for rural development, Agatha K Sangma urged the government to implement a stronger law to deter people from committing such heinous crimes.

"We are definitely at a point where we cannot ignore the fact that stronger laws need to be put in place, tougher punishment must be given so that it can act as a deterrent from committing these heinous crime," she said.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma condoled the death of the Delhi rape victim, and stressed the need for a "comprehensive action plan" to deal with the menace.

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