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Kathua fallout: Convicted to be awarded death for raping children below 12

The Union Cabinet has cleared an ordinance to award death sentence to those convicted of raping children below the age of 12. Read all the updates around the ordinance

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Kathua case, Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti,Chandra Prakash Ganga, Lal Singh, Kathua gangrape, Asifa rapecase,PDP, BJP, minor gangrape case in Kathua
Photo: PTI


The Union Cabinet on Saturday approved an ordinance that allows courts to award to those convicted of raping children below the age of 12. The government's move assumes significance at a time when massive uproar witnessed by the country in the aftermath of the ghastly Kathua rape and murder case.

There had been fervent demands for the award of to such sexual offenders, including the assaulters of the eight-year-old girl who was gangraped and killed at Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir recently. A similar incident has later reported in Surat, where police found the body of a nine-year-old near a cricket field in Bhestan with over 80 injuries, including some on her private parts. A post-mortem revealed she was raped for at least eight days before being strangled.

The ordinance cleared by the Union Cabinet on Saturday has now been sent to the President of India for his approval. Official sources said that the criminal law amendment ordinance sought to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision for sentencing convicts of such crimes punishment to death.

In his first comments after the gruesome incidents of rapes in Kathua and another in Unnao, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last week said that no criminal would be spared and daughters would get justice. "Such incidents shake our sensibilities," he said.

Here are the top 10 developments around amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, death penalty for rapists, and the recent Kathua, Unnao and Surat rape cases:

1. in its current form: As the stands today, the maximum punishment for "aggravated assault" is life in jail. The minimum sentence prescribed is seven years in jail. After the Nirbhaya case of December 2012, when the criminal laws were amended, a provision of in case the woman either dies or is left in a "vegetative state" after rape was introduced through an ordinance which later became the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

ALSO READ: Kathua and Unnao aftermath: PM Modi says criminals will not be spared

2. Every 15 minutes, a child is subjected to sexual offence in India, says CRY: Sexual offence is committed against a child in India every 15 minutes and there has been an increase of more than 500 per cent over the past 10 years in crime against minors, an analysis by child rights NGO CRY has found. The analysis, which was released on Thursday, also reveals that more thhas0 per cent of crimes against children have been recorded in just five states-- Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and West Bengal. "There has been a significant increase in crimes against minors of more than 500 per cent over the past 10 years with 1,06,958 cases being reported in 2016 over a figure of 18,967 in 2006," the Child Rights and You (CRY) analysis also said.

3. Pay more attention to women of your country, says IMF chief's advice to PM Modi: Describing the latest incident of outrageous rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in India as "revolting", IMF chief Christine Lagarde hoped that the Indian authorities starting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi would pay more attention to it. "What has happened (in India) is just revolting. I would hope that the Indian authorities, starting with Prime Minister Modi pay more attention because it is needed for the women of India," Lagarde said. "When I was last in Davos after Prime Minister Modi's speech, I did tell him that he had not mentioned the women of India enough. And it's not just a question of talking about them," the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund said.

4. Activists urge Maliwal to reconsider demand for of minors: A group of activists has appealed to DCW chief Swati Maliwal to end her hunger strike and reconsider her demand for capital punishment for rapists of minors, saying there was no evidence to suggest that a death penalty would act as a deterrent.

In an open letter to Maliwal, who has been fasting for the past nine days, the activists said they were deeply troubled by her demand for of minors and noted that in her capacity as the chair of a statutory body, it is essential that she understands and engages with the in-principle opposition that many representatives of the women's movement have against death penalty.

To read the full letter click HERE

Read Mihir Sharma's opinion piece for Business Standard on crimes against women in India in the wake of the Kathua and Unnao rape cases: The rape cases of 2012 & 2018 that shook the nation

5. PFI says, perpetrators of Unnao Kathua rape incidents shouldn't be 'shielded, glorified': Terming the Kathua and Unnao rape incidents as "violent acts to subjugate, humiliate and instill fear", the Population Foundation of India (PFI) has asked the government to ensure that the perpetrators are neither "shielded nor glorified".

PFI is a body advocating for effective formulation of gender-sensitive population.

Executive Chairperson, PFI, Poonam Muttreja, has demanded that the government act to ensure women in the country do not feel "insecure" and "unsafe".

"What happened in Kathua and Unnao are violent acts to subjugate, humiliate and instill fear. The government should condemn such atrocities, and ensure that the perpetrators are neither shielded nor glorified.

6. Minor girl raped in Odisha: A Class 6 girl student has been allegedly kidnapped and raped for two days by her relative in Odisha's Kalahandi district, police said on Friday. Police have arrested the accused, identified as Munna Naik, 30, after the family members of the victim lodged a complaint on Thursday night. As per the FIR, the minor girl had gone to her uncle's house at Dumerapadar village on April 17 to attend a family function.

7. Nine-year-old raped, killed in UP: On Friday, less than a week after an eight-year-old was lured from a wedding function and raped and then murdered in Uttar Pradesh's Etah district, a nine-year-old was raped and killed in the district the same way. The accused is a boy who was part of the cooking team hired for a pre-wedding ceremony in Kailtha village. He lured the girl to a field behind the venue where he raped her and then strangled her as she tried to raise an alarm, the police said.

The girl was taken to a hospital where she died, an officer said.

ALSO READ: Nine-year-old raped, killed in UP

8. Surat rape and murder case: Three persons, including the main perpetrator, involved in the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl in Surat have been arrested, the Gujarat government said on Friday. Police had found the body of the girl with over 86 injuries dumped in the bushes near Jeeav Road in Pandesara area of Surat on April 6. An autopsy revealed that she was brutally raped and tortured for days before her murder. A case of rape was registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

ALSO READ: Surat rape adds to protesters' fury, outrage after Kathua, Unnao incidents

9. BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar's CBI remand extended: The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) court in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district has extended the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) remand of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar for seven more days (April 27), in connection with the alleged rape of 18-year-old-girl. Sengar is the main accused in the concerned case. According to the media reports, the CBI produced Sengar before the special POCSO court judge, Ashutosh Kumar who extended his remand.

10. Innumerable cases of rape: A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped in a village in Kaushambi by two youths, who have been arrested, police said today. The girl was allegedly lured by a woman of her village to a secluded spot and handed over to the youths, who raped her yesterday, Superintendent of Police (SP) Pratap Kumar Gupta said. On the complaint lodged the victim's family, an FIR was registered, he said. A 30-year-old man was arrested for allegedly raping his 13-year-old daughter following which she committed suicide in Bihar's West Champaran district, an official said. The girl's body was found hanging from the ceiling at her house in a village which comes under the jurisdiction of Majhaulia police station, Superintendent of Police Jayant Kant said.

Here's what happened according to Kathua gang rape and murder charge sheet: The eight-year-old girl had been missing in Rasana village since January 10. On January 17, her mutilated body was found, bearing the marks of gang rape. This week, local lawyers tried to prevent the police from filing the charge sheet, and the Jammu High Court Bar Association called for a bandh on Wednesday demanding that the investigation be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The charge sheet lists as the main conspirator the caretaker of the temple in Rasana where the child was allegedly held. The girl was gang-raped repeatedly inside a village temple and kept sedated for hours before being killed by six men, including one who had been "invited" to come all the way from Meerut to "satisfy his lust", the police have told a court. The kidnapping, rape and killing of the girl of the Bakherwal community at the Rassana area of Kathua was part of a planned, chilling strategy to instil fear and drive the nomadic tribe out of the region, reveals the 15-page charge-sheet filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in the chief judicial magistrate's court.

First Published: Sat, April 21 2018. 19:07 IST
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