New Delhi: Taking a strong view on "rampant" cases of rape of SC/ST women in Jind and Kaithal districts of Haryana, a Parliamentary Committee has asked the state government to ensure "stringent and exemplary punishment not less than life imprisonment" against the rapists.
In its report, which was tabled today in Parliament, the Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes also said it should be apprised about the total number of cases of crime committed against SCs/STs and women all over the country, including Haryana.
The committee had undertaken an on-the-spot study visit to Jind and Kaithal districts on October 17 with a view to examining the circumstances leading to unprecedented incidences of atrocities perpetrated against the SC women in the state in September this year.
"The spate of gangrapes reported in Haryana during the month of September alone shook the conscience of the nation. The situation was so alarming that even minor girls, mentally challenged women and married/pregnant women were not spared and some of the victims and families have committed suicide out of shame and humiliation," the report said.
The committee said that the visit to Jind and Kaithal only was undertaken due to paucity of time.
It also said, "The spurt in incidents of rape of women from the beginning of September 2012 to early part of October 2012 poses a grim picture of the situation and safety of women in the state."
Recommending strict action against the rapists, the report said, "The committee urged the government to take stringent and exemplary punishment, not less than life imprisonment against rapists so that it serves as a deterrent to others."
It also asked the state government to comply with the SC and ST Act and ensure that accused are not given bail and should not be let off on flimsy grounds.