Kochi: Against the backdrop of the Delhi gang-rape incident, BJP on Monday suggested maximum punishment to the accused in rape cases-- either death penalty or chemical castration.
"There should be maximum punishment to the rapists, death penalty or emasculation (chemical castration of the rapist)," senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu told reporters here.
His suggestions come close on the heels of Congress proposing castration for rapists. In a draft bill for a tougher law to check crimes against women which could also include chemical castration in rare cases, the Congress has proposed imprisonment up to 30 years for rape convicts.
Lashing out at the UPA, Naidu said the `insensitivity, indecision and inaction` of Congress-led government has sent a `wrong signal` in the country that the political class, especially the Parliament system had failed to rise to the occasion.
Naidu said a similar suggestion for deterrent punishment of chemical castration had been made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs chaired by him. The proposals had been submitted before the Home Ministry and suggestions from the Home and Law ministries were being awaited. The committee`s next meeting would be held on Jan 4, he said.
The Delhi gang rape incident had revealed the government`s `casual approach`, he said.
For four days the Union Home Minister was `evasive` and `casual` in his responses to the persistent demands of members of both Houses of Parliament and took several days to announce the setting up of the Judicial Commission and suspension of some junior police personnel, Naidu charged.
The Prime Minister did not address the Nation for seven days, he said, adding, all this showed the government`s `casual approach` on an important issue. The Congress President had not reacted to the incident till yesterday, he said.
Naidu also flayed the police action against the protesters.
Demanding setting up of fast track courts in every district and trial to be completed within three months which should be in camera, Naidu said there should be speedy disposal of sex offence cases.
Sensitising the police and the senior officer of the area must be made accountable for any atrocities against women, he said.
Naidu also blamed violence in movies and television serials for increasing crimes against women. The role of cinema and TV serials need to be reviewed and scenes of violence, vulgarity, obscenity, and provocative dialogues need to be checked, he said.
Calling for strict code of self-conduct, he said cinema and serials have tremendous impact on real life. "We also need to bring in changes in our education system to inculcate family values, remind the youth of our culture and respect for women," he said.
Pointing out that the Women`s Reservation bill had been pending for long and it was time to take it up on an urgent basis, he said BJP would support any initiative of the government in this regard.
Police reforms, judicial reforms and increasing women`s participation in police force are overdue, he said.
The BJP reiterated its demand for convening of a special session of Parliament to discuss the issues in depth and make relevant changes in law and send a strong message.