After the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre on Saturday approved an ordinance to award death sentence to rapists of children below 12 years of age, the saffron party hailed the decision, while the opposition remained skeptical about the move.
Talking to media, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan believed that this ordinance will instill fear among criminals.
“A huge step has been taken for the safety of our daughters. I thank PM (Narendra) Modi and Union Cabinet. Madhya Pradesh had also taken a step towards this. This will instill fear among criminals and they will think before committing such heinous crime,” said Chouhan, whose state has been rocked by the rape and murder of an eight-month-old girl in Indore on Friday.
BJP leader and lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi termed today’s day as historic.
“Today is a historic day in India. The government has made a strict law for the safety of girl and women. I thank PM Modi for taking necessary steps to empower women in our country,” Lekhi said in a press conference.
However, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said they are against the death penalty and called for action against those who had tried to protect the rapists.
“In principle, CPI-M is against the death penalty. The death penalty is already there in rarest of rare cases. The actual issue is that some members of the government are supporting rapists. There should be a penalty against ‘rapist rakhsaks’,” Karat said while addressing the press after attending 22nd CPI-M party congress in Hyderabad.
“To divert the issue the government is trying to bring this in. I am afraid as this has very little credibility. We want the certainty of punishment. This issue is not addressing the issue which is agitating the minds of Indians,” she said.
The Congress and the Samajwadi party also echoed similar sentiments.
Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said, “Government should contemplate its decision. We need to address the root cause of such crimes as there’s a limit to which judiciary can help.”
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Juhi Singh said, “The centre has not made any prosecution wing, nor has used Nirbhaya Fund so how can they award punishment in such a state The law would be only as much effective as its implementation.”
The Centre today approved the criminal law amendment ordinance which seeks 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.
The ordinance, which will be sent to President for his assent, has come after a spate of rape incidents in various parts of the country have led to national outrage during the past few days.