New Delhi: The gang-rape of a young photojournalist in Mumbai triggered an avalanche of outrage across the country on Friday and condemned as despicable and shameful stirring memories of a similar attack last December in New Delhi that led to nation-wide protests.
As people from all walks of life voiced their anguish, Political parties, media associations and Bollywood were one in demanding harshest punishment to the perpetrators of the crime in a city which is seen as far safer for women than the national capital,
The attack also had its echo in Rajya Sabha which erupted in anger with agitated members expressing serious concern over increasing atrocities on women and the government assuring "harshest" action against the culprits.
Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal said sex assaults must be dealt with "in the severest manner".
"We cannot afford to let our women and children live in insecurity and must make sure that such attacks against women are dealt in the severest manner," he said.
Hundreds of people including members of several journalists` associations gathered in south Mumbai to stage a silent protest. Some wore black armbands, while others carried placards reading "Stop rape" and "City of shame."
Media associations in Chennai said the "horrifying incident" has shocked the entire country once again raising the issue of safety of women.
"Despicable! We are shamed! How long & God forbid, how many more before the criminals are punished? Wake up, India!," said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.
"Helpless to say the least...Words like "devastated".."disgusted" mean nothing at a time like this! #gang-rape in my city... I feel ashamed," lamented Producer-Director Karan Johar.
Some even sniped at the Union Ministry of Home affairs and its equivalent in Maharashtra for failing to enhance the safety of women in the country since the Delhi gang-rape incident last December and after enactment of new laws.
BJP`s Smriti Irani while raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha asked what steps had been initiated to prevent recurrence of such incidents even after repeated assurances of improving law and order condition in the aftermath of Delhi gang-rape and targeted the Centre and the Maharashtra government.
Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer said, "Another shame! A photo journ gang-raped by 5 men in Mumbai. No wonder India is considered most unsafe place for women amongst G-30 countries."
The Twitter was also abuzz with rage over the gang-rape.
"... Thousands of women aren’t safe in a country that demands of them patriotism, sacrifices and taxes," said one tweet. Some said legislations are merely not enough.
"If punishment is strict, rape incidents can be avoided," said a Jadavpur university student, while a Bhopal housewife said women and even shcool girls are not safe anymore.