A day after the Union Cabinet gave its nod to an ordinance to amend POCSO Act, Asha Devi, mother of Nirbhaya (2012 Delhi gangrape victim) has said that although the step was a much-needed one, every rapist should be hanged. “For minors under 12(rape victims) it is a good step, but what about ones who are older? There is no more heinous crime than rape, there is no larger pain.Every rapist should be hanged,” Asha Devi was quoted as saying by ANI.
Asha Devi’s daughter, a paramedic student, was raped heinously by six men in December 2012. Last year, the Supreme Court of India had given its verdict in the Nirbaya case and upheld the High Court’s decision of capital punishment given to the four convicts – Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh in the December 16, 2012, case. After the judgement, Asha Devi had said that when the courts pronounce judgement years after the actual crime was committed, criminals tend to lose the fear of punishment. She said that multiple courts needed to be set up especially for such cases, where the victims could get justice sooner.
On Saturday, the Union cabinet cleared the ordinance on POCSO act whereby death penalty will be given to those convicted of raping a child up to 12 years of age. Centre has cleared the criminal law amendment ordinance and POCSO Act is a part of this amendment.
However, despite the huge furore and outcry in recent times over rape incidents, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar said people should not make a fuss over one or two incidents as all crimes cannot be prevented. As per ANI report, Gangwar said that such cases are unfortunate but sometimes cannot be prevented. The government is alert, but people should not make a big issue of one or two incidents.
The demand for the death penalty to child rapists took centre stage after two separate cases of gangrape and murder were reported from Jammu’s Kathua and Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao. The Centre has increased minimum punishment in case of rape of women from 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment. It said that in case of gang rape of a girl below 12 years, punishment will be life imprisonment or death sentence.