(MENAFN - Arab News) Indian expats in the Kingdom have voiced their unanimous opinion that rape incidents can be avoided in India through harsher punishment.
Many have said that it is time to get rid of existing flexible laws and come up with punitive measures akin to those prescribed by Shariah and practiced by Saudi Arabia.
The gang rape of a young photojournalist in India's financial capital Mumbai, a city which is seen as far safer for women than other Indian metropolitan cities, has once again triggered an avalanche of outrage in India and condemned as despicable and shameful, stirring memories of a similar incident on Dec. 16 last year in New Delhi. The Delhi gang rape led to nationwide protests, as thousands of demonstrators laid siege to the country's power center in the national capital demanding capital punishment for the rapists of the 23-year-old paramedic student.
Naseem Ahmad, an academic, said that the recurrence of such acts makes it clear that the government has failed to enhance the safety and security of women in India and that new laws are proving insufficient to curb such crimes.
Rashid Khan, a media and marketing executive in Riyadh, said sex assaults must be dealt with "in the severest manner, as we cannot afford to let women and girls live in insecurity."
He also advised lawmakers in India to be as harsh on rapists as the Kingdom is in its punishment.
"The weakness of our laws are reflected in the recurrence of such ghastly acts," he said.
Dr. Shahid, a hospital administrator in Riyadh, said: "It only compels us to think the government is reasonably unintelligent. It simply can't handle repeated cases of assault on women. The nation is heading into an abysmal pit, with our government behind the steering wheel."
An expatriate housewife living in Riyadh, who requested anonymity, said: "It is tough time for women in India. Even schoolgirls are not safe anymore, as the administration is seemingly doing nothing to curb the recurrence of such incidents."
She added, "Even after 67 years of independence, we girls/women are not safe anywhere, whether in Delhi, Mumbai or other cities. Harsher punishment must be implemented."
Kamran Khan, a management graduate in Riyadh, said the "horrifying incident" has shocked the entire country once again, raising the issue of the safety of women.
"If a journalist in a metropolitan city is not safe, what of the safety of girls in smaller towns and villages, which are more vulnerable to crime," he said. The government must maintain law and order in every part of the country, he added.
Expatriate workers have also used social media to express their anguish.
Arif Anwar, who lives in Dammam, tweeted: "Another bout of shame. A photo journo gang-raped by five men in Mumbai. No wonder India is considered the most unsafe place for women."
"Girls are getting raped, killed and courts still move at snail's pace. They better wake up before this country become a lawless capital," said Mohammad Shameem, an IT professional.