The heinous rape of a 10-year old Dalit girl in Jharkhand allegedly on the diktat of a panchayat head had its echo in Rajya Sabha on Friday with the entire House demanding stringent punishment to the culprits, forcing the government to promise necessary action.
"Necessary action will be initiated in the serious matter after taking up the issue with the prime minister," Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot said as the entire House condemned the incident and demanded an action taken report on the issue.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prabhat Jha said heads should hang in shame over the incident, alleging that the head of a panchayat issued a diktat for raping the 10-year-old in broad day-light, with the entire village remaining a mute spectator.
He said the girl was dragged to the forest and raped but none could come to her rescue while the hapless father and mother of the victim had to face much difficulty in lodging the complaint with the local police station as the police said there was no witness.
"I appeal to the government of India to ensure justice to her. This kind of incidents cannot happen in India...strict action is needed," Jha said, as members cutting across party lines shouted "shame, shame".
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "Entire police machinery and the village should be held accountable. This is a question of neither A nor B government. How can we allow this? Last year, a legislation was passed, what happened to it?"
Ashwani Kumar of the Congress demanded that the government should apprise the House of the action it has taken in the matter.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, who was in the chair, remarked, "The entire House is one on the issue. This being a heinous crime on a minor, government should enquire and come to House. Also, if such a crime has happened serious action should be taken."
A minor was raped in Jharkhand allegedly on the panchayat head's diktat by a person whose wife was allegedly molested by the girl's brother at Gulgulia Dhora village in Bokaro district, some 160 km from Ranchi.
Image: A protest against increasing sexual assault against women in India