I personally favour death penalty for rapists: Delhi CM

Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit termed the "horrific assault" on the 23-year-old girl as "most painful" incident for her since she assumed the top post in the capital and said she personally favoured death penalty for rapists.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday termed the "horrific assault" on the 23-year-old girl as "most painful" incident for her since she assumed the top post in the capital and said she personally favoured death penalty for rapists.

She said she hated Delhi being called "rape capital" of India and stressed that "something concrete" must be done to instill confidence among women in the city against the growing fear of insecurity.

"Yes, personally I favour that (death penalty) for rapists. We must ensure stringent punishment for perpetrators of such henious crime so that it acts as a deterrent," Dikshit told reporters here when asked whether she personally supported gallows for rape convicts.

Justifying the spontaneous protest across the city following the gang-rape of the para-medical student here on Sunday, Dikshit said her government was ready to take her abroad for better treatment.

"I am shocked at the way she was assaulted. It is really horrifying. We are ready to take her to any part of the world for better treatment. She is in a very critical condition. It is the most painful incident that has taken place since I became Chief Minister of Delhi," she said.

"We cannot compensate the suffering of the young brave girl. But, we will do everything possible to save her life," Dikshit said.

The Chief Minister`s comments came as pain and anger spilled onto Delhi streets for the fifth day in a row over the brutal assult on the girl whose condition continues to be critical although she has been taken off the ventilator.

Large number of women activists and students today held protests outside Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister`s Office and Home Ministry.

Dikshit said maintaining law and order in the city was responsibility of the Delhi Police Commissioner and Lt Governor and that the Delhi government did not have any authority over the police.

"The Delhi Government does not have any authority over the police. We have been demanding that certain aspect of policing be handed over to the Delhi government...I feel my hands are tied," she said.

The Chief Minister said there will be no politicking on the issue and as all concerned must respect the sentiments of the people and do everything possible to restore public confidence.

Dikshit said the government plans to bring a stringent law to curb sexual assault on women and requested Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaisingh to prepare a draft bill.

She said all stakeholders would be consulted before finalising the proposed legislation.

Dikshit said the round-the-clock control room for women in distress will function from her office at Delhi Secretariat and will have dedicated phone number. The control room will be commissioned within next 10 days.

Protests were also witnessed at India Gate, Jantar Mantar and near Safdurjung hospital throughout the day demanding speedy and stringent punishment for the rapists.

Emotional and angry protesters, numbering over 500 at Raisina Hills and India Gate, carried placards which read, `My Body, My Right`, `Rape is Ape: Have You Evolved?`, `Dress is not Yes` and `Rape is Only Crime Where Victim Becomes Accused`.

The protesters, who gathered on the Rajpath, marched towards India Gate but later changed course to head towards Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hills.


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