New Delhi, Dec 21: The brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi has angered all. Police have caught five of the six accused in the case. Police sources say the rapists belong to the lower-strata of the society. One of them is a bus driver, another one is a fruit-seller, third a cleaner, fourth a gym-instructor and identity of the fifth one is yet to be revealed.
Now, if you think only drivers and cleaners are prospective rapists, then you are wrong. Even our MPs and MLAs face charges of crime against women.
While MPs and MLAs are demanding death penalty for the accused, data analysed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a think-tank, reveals some shocking truth. Two sitting Members of Parliament and six sitting legislators in different states have cases of crimes against women pending against them. The MPs and MLAs belong to Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
"As the outrage grows against the heinous incident of rape in Delhi and as the parliament discusses the issue, we looked at the background of our lawmakers (MPs and MLAs) with respect to rape cases and other crimes against women based on their self-sworn affidavits. While several MPs showed disgust about the case in the parliament and some showed helplessness about the situation, we found that there are several lawmakers who have similar cases pending on them as per their last affidavit declaration to the ECI," said a senior member of ADR.
"What we also found to be appalling was that even larger number of such people have been given tickets by the parties to contest elections in last 5 years. This includes several of our major parties," added the member.
Highlights of MPs/MLAs having rape charges against them
Six MLAs have declared that they have charges of rape against themselves in their sworn affidavits submitted with the Election Commission of India at the time of their election.
Of these six MLAs with declared rape cases, three were from Uttar Pradesh and members of the SP namely Sribhagwan Sharma, Anoop Sanda and Manoj Kumar Paras. The three others were Mohd Aleem Khan of the BJP in UP, Jethabhai G Ahir of the BJP in Gujarat and Kandikunta Venkata Prasad of the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh.
Thirty-six other MLAs have declared that they have other charges of crime against women such as outraging the modesty of a woman, assault, insulting the modesty of a woman etc.
Of the 36 MLAs who have declared that they have charges of crime against women, 6 MLAs are from INC, 5 from BJP and 3 from SP.
UP has the maximum number of MLAs (8) who have declared that they have charges of crime against women, followed by Orissa and West Bengal with 7 MLAs each.
Two MPs, namely Semmalai S of ADMK from Salem constituency in Tamil Nadu and Adhikari Suvendu of AITC from Tamluk constituency in West Bengal, have declared that they have charges of crime against women such as cruelty and intent to outrage a woman's modesty etc.