The Straits Times
Published on Jan 04, 2013

India Home Minister calls for rape crackdown


NEW DELHI (AP) - India's top law enforcement official said Friday that the country needs to crack down on crimes against women with ''an iron hand" to prevent attacks such as the fatal gang rape of a student on a New Delhi bus last month.

That attack has sparked outrage across India and led to calls for tougher rape legislation and reforms of a police culture that often blames rape victims and refuses to file charges against accused attackers.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said crimes against women and marginalized sections of society are increasing, and it is the government's responsibility to stop them.

"This needs to be curbed by an iron hand," he told a conference of state officials from across India that was called to discuss how to protect women.