Death penalty for rapists of children: Maliwal to continue fast

Swati-Maliwal
DCW Chief Swati Maliwal on the 9th day of her fast. Photo: IANS

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal, on the ninth day of her hunger strike, said she would continue her fast till the time the ordinance on the death penalty for rapists of children — which was approved by the Union Cabinet on Saturday — is not promulgated.

Welcoming the Cabinet’s decision to approve the ordinance on the death penalty for those convicted of raping children below the age of 12, Maliwal, however, added: “Until something concrete happens, I will not give up. Until a system is there which ensures safety for the last girl, I won’t give up.”

“When the Prime Minister can suddenly bring an ordinance without anybody knowing, when he can implement such a big project, then why can’t he do these few things? Till the time these are not done, my fast would not break,” she said demanding the ordinance be immediately issued.

Maliwal has been on fast since April 13, demanding death penalty for rapists of children after the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and other instances that took place recently.

“I am happy that though after nine days the Central government has taken the first step to hang rapists of small children within six months,” she said and also appreciated the centre’s plan to increase fast-track courts in the country that will help avoid delay in getting justice.

However, Maliwal wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday on her other related demands.

She said just changing the law is not enough, more important is its implementation and even more important is raising the police resources and their accountability.

“If the police resources and their accountability are not increased in the country, then do whatever, rape would not stop,” she said adding that the Prime Minister had the duty to determine the police resources and accountability.

She said for the last 10 years, Delhi Police has been demanding 66,000 police personnel but has not happened till date. The direct impact of this is borne by the public, she said. Police is only able to do the duty of VIPs, not of the public and most police stations have less than half of the strength, she said.

“Till the time this ordinance does not come and till the time the plan to determine the police resources and accountability is not brought forward by the central government, this fast would not be broken,” she said.

IANS

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