'Zero tolerance' for crime against women by Army personnel: Antony
However, the Minister said no "hasty decision" can be taken on AFSPA.
Bangalore: Against the backdrop of opposition to keep armed forces personnel under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) out of ambit of the ordinance for protection of women, Defence Minister AK Antony on Wednesday said the government will take "ruthless" actions against such people, including armed forces personnel. "Our government is serious and concerned about the security of women. We will take strongest action against people who create problems for women. The ordinance is coming to Parliament. After it, we will be able to take strong against such people ruthlessly. That applies to armed forces also," he said at a press conference in Bangalore.
The Minister was asked to comment on the opposition by women activists over armed forces personnel covered by AFSPA to be kept out of the ordinance's purview. He said the armed forces have been issued directives that there would be "zero tolerance" policy by the Defence Ministry towards crimes against women.
"I assure you that we have given directives to armed forces that regarding crime against women, our policy would be of zero tolerance. We will take strong, speedy and convincing actions", Antony said. The ordinance has been brought by the government against the backdrop of the December 16 gangrape incident in the national capital.
On the controversial AFSPA, he sought to link the importance of the Act with the regional and global security situation and said no hasty decision could be taken on that. "Earlier, your colleagues had asked about the situation in neighborhood. Considering that, we have to be very serious. We cannot take a hasty decision on that", the Defence Minister said.