'Judicial will needed to implement panel recommendations'

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 13:50 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) Strong political action and judicial will are needed to turn the recommendations of Justice J.S. Verma Committee into reality if violence against Indian women is to be curbed, said Amnesty International Thursday.

The three-member committee, headed by Justice Verma, was constituted to look into rape laws in the wake of the gruesome gang-rape of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist Dec 16. It submitted its report to the government Wednesday. The woman died Dec 29 in a Singapore hospital.

The panel stopped short of recommending death penalty for gang-rape.

"The Indian authorities must follow up on their promise to give top priority to considering the Verma committee recommendations. The government must also actively initiate public education and other measures that need to be taken to change discriminatory attitudes towards women," said a statement from the global rights body.

It also welcomed the committee's proposal to amend Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

In its 631-page voluminous report, the three-member committee has proposed amendment to Section 6 of the AFSPA which gives the Indian armed forces arbitrary powers in the states that have been declared "disturbed areas" riddled with militancy.

"The calls for review of the AFSPA are very welcome - this is a 'lawless law' that is only increasing frustrations and suffering among people in the areas of conflict," it added.

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