India, Dec. 3 -- Members of both houses of Parliament on Monday outraged over the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad and called, in one voice, for severe punishment for the accused, prompting the Centre to say it was ready to toughen laws on sexual assault to ensure women's safety.

While MPs across parties suggested swift death penalties in such cases, and punishments as drastic as public lynching and castration of rapists, Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu suggested a rethink on allowing convicts in heinous crimes to file mercy pleas.

As the Rajya Sabha met for the day, several MPs raised demands for a discussion on women's safety in view of the latest incident, which has triggered widespread protests across the c...