An association of IAS officers has described as "absolutely shocking" the alleged stalking of a bureaucrat's daughter in Chandigarh and demanded "exemplary and timely punishment" for such offences.
The Indian Administrative Service (Central) Association -- which claims to represent all 5,004 IAS officers working across the country -- stressed in a Tweet the need to make India "a safe place" for women.
"Absolutely shocking. Time we made our nation a safe place for all women. Exemplary and timely punishment for offences a must," it said yesterday.
The accused, Vikas Barala (23) and Ashish Kumar (27), were later released on bail as they were booked under bailable sections of the IPC and the Motor Vehicles Act.
The woman's father, Virender Kundu, today said he would not "back out or stand down, irrespective of hardships or pressures".
"Our target is to ensure that the guilty are brought to book. They are adult men, students of law, who are fully aware of the consequences of their actions, and hence must be appropriately punished," he said on Facebook.
The senior IAS officer of Haryana cadre said the offenders should be "awarded punishment commensurate with their culpability".
"Not over punished, but definitely not under punished either," he wrote.
He said it was "unfortunate" that the families of the accused faced hardship.
"We do not hold them responsible for the crimes of these men," Kundu said.
The officer said in a "cut and dried case" such as this, where there is "nothing hazy or unclear" in terms of actions or identities, "if the system fails to deliver justice, then there is something deeply rotten in our society, our government and our country".
"Then we all need to look into ourselves, question our honesty as well as patriotism, and see where we have led our country to," he said.