New Delhi: As the nation seethed over the gangrape and murder of an 8-year-old child, Union minister Santosh Gangwar stepped into controversy today, saying while such instances were unfortunate, they cannot be stopped sometimes and one "should not make a big deal out of it".
- Santosh Gangwar said it is "difficult to control" rape cases
- He said if a few cases were reported, one shouldn't make "a big deal"
- He also said the "government is active" in trying to control such cases
"In such a huge country, if one or two such cases are reported, one should not make a big deal out of it," the minister said. "Such incidents are really unfortunate, but sometimes it is difficult to control these cases... The government is active," added the Mr Gangwar, the junior minister in finance department.
A string of unspeakable sexual assault and murders of children reported over the past weeks has unleashed countrywide outrage. Much of it has been directed against the government for the alleged involvement of BJP leaders.
Leaders of the BJP have been trying to protect the accused in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir. In the other case in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, the teen survivor has accused a BJP lawmaker and his brother of rape.
Over the last week, protest marches have been held across various cities, and groups of bureaucrats and academics have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking immediate action. The last of these - an open letter from more than 600 academics from India and abroad - came yesterday.
Acting post-haste over the weekend, the government pushed through an executive order that introduced death penalty for those who raped children below 12 years in age. The order was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind today.
The changes - which include longer jail term for all rapists and an ambitious four-month deadline for investigation and trial - were cleared at a Cabinet meeting held on Saturday.