Report sought from Maharashtra on gang rape

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The central government Friday called the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai "extremely unfortunate" and said it had sought a detailed report from the Maharashtra government.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh said immediate action should be taken to arrest the guilty and they should be given harsh punishment.

"It is extremely unfortunate. (We have) asked the state government for a detailed report," Singh said.

Earlier, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked the government to take note of the incident.

A 22-year-old photojournalist working for an English magazine was gang-raped in Mumbai's Shakti Mills compound Thursday after her male colleague was brutally thrashed.

The photojournalist suffered grievous internal injuries. Four people have been detained by police.

Raising the issue, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Smriti Irani said there was no security in the area where the incident took place.

Referring to some other incidents of crime against women in Maharashtra, she said the gang rape was "not an incident to be viewed in isolation".

There was some din in the house as Congress members sought to raise incidents of crime against women in BJP-ruled states.

Earlier, political leaders cutting across party lines condemned the incident.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal said: "Our country cannot afford to have our women and children insecure."

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said: "It is very unfortunate. When the Dec 23 gang rape occurred in Delhi, within a few days a new legislation was proposed in parliament. I am hopeful it will now be soon implemented."

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said: "The gang rape is beyond tolerance. A photojournalist goes for work and if she is not safe. Who is safe then?"

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