Mumbai: Responding as one to the killing of a three-year-old child in Aligarh, Bollywood celebrities say justice must be served and the guilty punished with some calling for capital punishment.
Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan, Javed Akhtar and Sunny Leone are among those who expressed their anguish at the killing of the child earlier this week.
The mutilated body of the girl, missing since May 31, was found in a garbage dump on June 2, police said, suspecting that the brutal killing was a fallout of a monetary dispute.
Hashtags with the child's name were trending on Twitter with an estimated 56,000 tweets on the horrific case that shook the nation.
Two persons have been arrested in connection with the crime and the police said they will charge the duo under the National Security Act.
Akshay said he is feeling "horrified, upset and angry" and demanded strict action in the case.
"... This is definitely not the kind of world we want for our children. We need immediate and strictest punishment for such a heinous crime," he wrote on Twitter.
His wife, actor-author Twinkle Khanna, also expressed outrage over the incident and appealed to Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani to ensure that justice is done.
"It is heartbreaking to hear about the horrific murder of the two and a half-year-old little girl In Aligarh. I would request @smritiirani to ensure that swift action is taken against the perpetrators of this heinous crime," she tweeted.
"Just so disgusted and angered hearing about (victim). How can somebody even think of doing such a thing?!?! Speechless..." Abhishek tweeted.
Arjun Kapoor wrote that the barbaric rape and murder is a shame on humanity. "Justice must be served," he said.
Describing the killing as "inhuman and barbaric", Ayushmann Khurrana echoed him and said he extends his condolences to the victim's family.
Calling the case "extremely disturbing", actor Sidharth Malhotra said, "It's scary to be living in a world where even innocent children are not safe. I urge our authorities to take action to ensure that such a heinous crime is never repeated again!"
Veteran lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar said the perpetrators should be hanged publicly, while his wife, actor Shabana Azmi, said her heart went out to the parents.
"This case should be fast-tracked in the courts by daily hearings. Anyone can guess the inevitable and obvious verdict of any court on this most heinous crime possible. Wish he could be hanged publicly," Akhtar tweeted.
Azmi said, "This is so reprehensible that no words can be strong enough to condemn this heinous barbaric crime. My heart goes out to the parents. The perpetrator must be meted the severest punishment."
Anupam Kher also called for the public hanging of the guilty.
Actor Sonam K Ahuja also condemned the incident but asked people to not use it to further their "selfish agenda".
"What has happened to the baby is heartbreaking and horrific. I pray for her and her family. I also urge people to not make this into a selfish agenda. This is a little girls death, not a reason to spread your hate," she wrote on Twitter.
Huma Qureshi said, "I'm sorry my little sister. We could not protect you... This makes me so angry and so sick... This is beyond barbaric. The law must act fast. We want the highest punishment for these sick perverts."
Congress leader and Bollywood actor Urmila Matondkar said she is feeling "disgusted and heartbroken".
"It's a sad and scary state where the lives of innocent children value so little. Justice must be served against such inhuman acts at the earliest," she added.
Actor Raveena Tandon also tagged Irani in her posted as she demanded death sentence for the culprits.
"The horrible, barbaric rape, murder of a 3-year-old in Aligarh. The criminals, who gouged her eyes, mutilated her body, (are) depraved, evil, inhuman and barbaric. Must Hang. The law must act fast," she wrote.
"This is heart-wrenching. My prayers are with the parents. Where are we leading as a society, one horrific incident after the other. An innocent child becomes the victim of such a heinous act. The perpetrators must be punished! Justice has to be served," actor Bhumi Pednekar tweeted.
Actor couple Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza said society had failed the child.
"My heart goes out to her family and loved ones. What kind of an unsafe world are we creating for our children. Strictest punishment and immediate justice is the only way to reduce these crimes," Riteish said.
Genelia wrote, "Can't imagine the plight and the pain of (victim's) family and loved ones.. I'm so so sorry."
Actor Sunny Leone tweeted, "I'm sorry... That you had to you live in a world where Humans no longer understand Humanity!!!! May God look over you for Eternity as you are an Angel !!!! #ImSorry."
Bollywood came together last year as well when there was widespread outrage against the barbaric rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, and the sexual assault of another young girl in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.