Amid strong demands for tougher laws to deal with crimes against women, a 13-member special task force headed by Union home secretary was on Tuesday constituted to look into safety issues of women in the national capital on a fortnightly basis.
The task force will review the functioning of the Delhi police on a regular basis. It will also continuously review action taken by the police and the Delhi government regarding safety issues of women, a home ministry announcement said.
The government's decision to set up the task force comes against the backdrop of public outrage over the gangrape and brutal assault of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16. She died in a Singapore hospital on Saturday.
Protests on the gangrape issue continued for another day with a modest number gathering at Jantar Mantar demanding strong law to hand out stringent punishment to those held guilty of sexual offences.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has asked political parties to give their views on reviewing rape laws to the Justice J S Verma Committee, set up to suggest amendments in the statute to provide speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of sexual assault against women.
In letters to leaders of all national and state political parties, Shinde said in the light of the Delhi gangrape government has given its anxious consideration to the need for reviewing the present laws relating to sexual assault of extreme nature against women.
The government had on December 23 constituted the committee under the chairmanship of Justice (retd) Verma, former chief justice of India, to look into the possible amendments of the criminal law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment to criminals in such cases.
"I would urge you to communicate your views as early as possible as the Committee has been asked to finalise its recommendations early," he said in the letter, a copy of which was made available today.