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Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra Wednesday said women in India were living in fear and they should be given arms as well as arms training so they could “kill their rapists.”
It was time for a “decisive, ruthless, tangible response,” said the minister.
His comments came in the backdrop of the gangrape of a woman and her 14-year-old daughter by a gang of dacoits in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr.
“If we can’t protect them, at least let them protect themselves — give arms and arms training to all girls and women. Let them kill those who try to rape them, let them kill their rapists,” the minister wrote in a blogpost.
He said rapists should be treated like terrorists and no exception should be made for juvenile offenders.
Mishra, who has earlier worked with human rights NGO Amnesty International, wrote, “I have been against the death penalty… but I want to say today that rapists are terrorists and they should be treated like one. Treat rapist as terrorist – death penalty must, no age bar should be there. If you are old enough to rape, you should be old enough to be punished like adults. You deserve no sympathy.”
He also suggested that rapists should be “killed publicly”.
Mishra said the central government must ensure speedy justice and make an example of the offenders in the Bulandshahr case. “… Parliament should pass a special law for Bulandshahr incident and rapists should be killed publicly, let everyone know how we deal with those who dare to touch our daughters and sisters,” he wrote.
“Tackling crimes against women is our biggest battle. Bigger than Kashmir, terrorism, naxalism and Pakistan,” the minister wrote in his blogpost.
Explaining why he had recommended such measures, Mishra told The Indian Express, “I have a five-year-old daughter. What we read every day is fearful. The system has failed our women. Law and order has failed them. What option do they have? Let them have arms, let us train everyone. Criminals use weapons but what option do women have? Let them have legal arms and kill in self-defence.”
He added, “Ideally, this should not happen but ideally, rapes should also not happen.”
On why he had suggested that rapists be killed publicly, Mishra said, “Are we moving forward? We are living in a medieval society. Women were never tortured like this in our country. No one is safe. There is fear in everyone’s mind. Something radical needs to be done.”
On September 8, 2015, Mishra had sent a letter to then Union Law Minister Sadanand Gowda, after the Law Commission of India recommended the abolition of the death penalty, except in cases of terrorism.
“In this context, it is my personal belief and submission to you that in cases of rape and acid attacks, especially in cases of gangrape, rapes leading to murder, repeat offenders of rape and “rarest of rare” cases like acid attacks where reform of the perpetrator is deemed impossible, there is a necessity to at least have the provision of the death penalty as maximum punishment,” Mishra had written.