Brinda Karat Opposes Death Penalty Ordinance

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has prepared bands of men who are “rapist rakshaks”, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat alleged on Saturday.

Reacting to the Union Cabinet approving an ordinance on the death penalty for those convicted of raping children, she said it was an attempt to divert the attention from the government protecting the rapists of the eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua.

“We have heard about gau rakshaks and criminal activities which they indulged in. Today BJP is preparing and has prepared bands of men who are rapist rakshaks,” she said and demanded that penalty should be there for those protecting the rapists.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of ongoing 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), she pointed out that the statute books already provide death penalty for rarest of rare cases.

Karat said the ordinance was an attempt to divert attention from the grievous nature of assault on the basic judicial processes.

In the wake of an increase in incidents of rape of minors, the Union Cabinet on Saturday approved a number of measures to strengthen the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the promulgation of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, for effective deterrence against commission of rape, thereby instilling a sense of security among women and especially young girls in the country.

Taking cognisance of the recent incidents of rape in various parts of the country, the cabinet approved an ordinance to be promulgated to provide for stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape particularly of girls below 16 years, and death penalty to be awarded to rapists of girls below 12 years of age.

The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

Replying to a query, she said that while CPI-M doesn’t see incidents of rapes and sexual assault in terms of religion of the victims, in case of Kathua, the fact is that the victim was selected because of her religion.