India: Head of Delhi Commission on Women calls for prompt capital punishment for child rape
Saturday, February 3, 2018
On Wednesday, following the rape in India's capital, , of an eight-month-old girl, Swati Maliwal, head of the , announced she was beginning a 30-day —a form of non-violent civil protest— to persuade the Government of India to impose the death penalty promptly when offenders rape children. She asked for others to join in her protest action.
As reported in the Indian press on Monday, the baby girl was initially inafter she was raped on Sunday at her home in Subhash Nagar in western New Delhi while her parents were at work. According to the police and a statement by the baby's father to the agency , when the mother returned, the baby was crying and was covered in blood. A police spokesman said the baby's 28-year-old cousin was arrested under the and Section 376 of the .
After Ms Maliwal visited the baby's hospital, she: "How can Delhi sleep today when 8 month baby has been brutally raped in Capital? Have we become so insensitive or we have simply accepted this as our fate?", and addressed Prime Minister demanding "stricter laws and more police resources" to combat rape. She said the baby's internal injuries were "horrific" and "inhuman" and had required three hours on the operating table to repair, and she could "still hear her screams and cries". Others responded with tweets calling the rape "monstrous" and "disgusting and disturbing".
In a tweeted statement on Wednesday announcing her protest action, Ms Maliwal demanded offenders who rape children should be executed within six months. "I will not go home for 30 days. I will work in the office throughout the day and at night I will inspect different places of Delhi. I will do double work. I will sleep in the office only. I give 30 days' time to accept my demands." She also demanded a 14,000-person expansion of theand improvements to police software and resources and reform of the prosecution department. She asked "people who understand the severity of such crimes and who really care for their kids" to join her in going house to house throughout to get the government to meet her demands.
Since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus, there have been widespread protests in India againstand calls for heavier penalties for rape. In response the government has made the law stricter and introduced dedicated 'fast-track' courts. Problems persist. There have been other press reports of child rape in the country in recent years, including the kidnapping and rape of a three-month-old in in 2015 and the kidnapping and rape of an eleven-month-old in Delhi in 2016. 2016 statistics list 19,765 child rapes, an 82 per cent increase over the previous year.
- "Five accused of Delhi gang rape and murder plead not guilty" — Wikinews, February 3, 2013
- Baby girl raped in Delhi has internal injuries" — , February 1, 2018. "
- "DCW chief announces 30 days 'Satyagrah'; demands capital punishment for child rapists within 6 months" — , January 31, 2018
- Samuel Osborne. "Outrage in India after eight-month-old baby raped in Delhi" — , January 30, 2018
- Geeta Pandey and others. "India outcry after eight-month-old baby raped" — , January 30, 2018
- Zeenat Saberin. "Eight-month-old baby raped in Indian capital Delhi" — , January 30, 2018
- Anindita Sanyal. "8-Month-Old Raped Allegedly By 28-Year-Old Cousin In Delhi" — , January 30, 2018