Jaya Bachchan: India MP calls for ‘lynching’ of Hyderabad rapists

Vigil in Amritsar 01/12Image copyright

Image caption

Protests such as this one in Amritsar continued on Sunday

An Indian MP has said the men who raped and murdered a 27-year-old vet in the city of Hyderabad should be “lynched”.

“I know it sounds harsh, but these kind of people should be brought out in public and lynched,” Jaya Bachchan said in parliament.

Several other MPs from across the political spectrum also condemned the brutal gang-rape and murder.

Protests were held across India after the victim’s charred remains were found following her disappearance last week.

Police say they have arrested the four men who gang-raped and murdered the woman.

Rape and violence against women remain at high levels despite widespread public anger at high-profile cases.

On Monday, the anger on the streets was reflected in parliament with many MPs demanding to know what action the government planned to take to make the country safer for women.

Ms Bachchan, a former Bollywood actress who is very vocal on women’s rights issues, led the MPs in demanding justice for the victim.

“I think it is time… The people want the government to give a proper and definite answer,” she said.

  • Was Delhi gang rape India’s #Metoo moment?
  • Why India’s rape crisis shows no signs of abating

Vijila Sathyananth, an MP from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, said the country was not safe for children and women and demanded that the “four men who committed this crime should be hanged before 31 December. Justice delayed is justice denied”.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said “this act has brought shame to the entire country, it has hurt everyone” and that he didn’t have appropriate words to “condemn this heinous crime”.

He said tougher laws that were introduced after the December 2012 gang-rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi had given hope that crimes against women would decline.

Image copyright

Image caption

MP Jaya Bachchan said the people want the government to give “a proper and definite answer”

But since that had not happened, Mr Singh said, “the government is ready for a discussion in the parliament on the issue of crimes against women and willing to explore stringent provisions in laws to check such incidents”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not yet commented on the case.

What happened to the victim?

The woman had left home on her bike at about 18:00 local time (12:30 GMT) on Wednesday to go to a doctor’s appointment.

She called her sister later to say that she had a flat tyre, and a lorry driver had offered to help. She said she was waiting near a toll plaza.

Efforts to contact her afterwards were unsuccessful, and her body was discovered under a flyover by a milkman early on Thursday morning.

Under Indian law, a rape victim cannot be identified even after death, but on Friday the woman’s name was the top Twitter trend in the country for several hours as tens of thousands of angry tweets demanded justice.

Her photographs have also been shared widely on social media by those demanding justice for her.

What has the wider reaction been?

At a police station on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Saturday, thousands of people gathered to protest, insisting the culprits must face the death penalty.

Elsewhere in the country there were other protests and vigils for the victim.

Image copyright

Image caption

Police used sticks to push back protesters in Shadnagar on Hyderabad’s outskirts

Meanwhile family members of the victim have turned away visiting politicians and police officials, demanding action instead.

In the community of Shamshabad in Hyderabad, where she lived, residents locked the main gate and held placards saying: “No Media, No Police, No Outsiders – No sympathy, only action, justice.”

Three police officers have been suspended following allegations by the victim’s family that they had not acted quickly enough when the victim was reported missing.

Officers suggested she may have eloped, relatives told the National Commission for Women, a government body.

  • India court blames ‘promiscuous’ rape survivor
  • Delhi rapist says victim shouldn’t have fought back

Rape and sexual violence against women have been in focus in India over the past few years but there has been no sign that anti-female violence is abating.

According to the latest government crime figures, 33,658 women were raped in India in 2017 – an average of 92 every day.

Media captionThe woman fighting back against India’s rape culture