After alarming cases, India approved death penalty for children's rapists

The Asian country modifies its legislation after the massive protests because of two recent cases of violence

After alarming cases, India approved death penalty for children's rapists

In recent years, India has been at the center of the news for the countless cases of rape that have occurred throughout the country. Foreign tourists, university students, underage girls and boys ... Thousands of crimes that have mostly gone unpunished and helped by a society where sexism is still inserted in all its layers and keeps its archaic behavior in many areas, mainly rural, in which the "honor" continues to govern the daily life of many families.

Leer en español: Tras escalofriantes casos, India aprueba pena de muerte contra violadores

The last incident that shocked the country was the one of a girl of only eight years old who was kidnapped, tortured, raped, and murdered in the state of Kashmir, on the border with Pakistan. The girl belonged to a nomadic Muslim community, the Barkawal. According to the United Nations human rights report of 2017 regarding Asia, it is believed that the local authorities covered up the case as part of a conspiracy against this minority.

The girl died in January, but the details of the crime were known in mid-April. A total of eight people were arrested, four of them are security members in the area where the murder took place. The situation has outraged even more a country where corruption within the police is normal.

The other case that has outraged Indian society is the recent murder of the father of a 16-year-old girl who was raped last year, allegedly by a regional parliamentarian of the ruling BJP party in Uttar Pradesh state. The deceased's family indicates that the politician's social circle could be responsible for the murder.

The intense protests caused that Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, approved the amendment to the Law on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses. The law establishes the death penalty for those guilty of having raped children under 12 years of age.

According to data from the National Crime Registry Agency of India, the number of crimes against children doubled between 2013 and 2016. This number went from 58,224 to 106,958 cases, and of the 38,947 violations that occurred in 2016, 19,765 were victims to minors.

India already tightened its legislation against sexual crimes in 2012, when a case of group rape in a bus in Delhi shocked the country. However, this does not seem to have taken effect because the cases have not been reduced. According to data provided by the Government, there are still more than 100,000 cases for violation pending resolution by the Justice in this country.

Although these figures do not invite optimism, the problem of violence against women is gaining much visibility in India, and more and more associations are watching and fighting for their rights. This popular indignation, which is something that frequently happens , was not seen a few years ago in similar circumstances, so it is an unequivocal sign that Indian society is increasingly aware of this problem.

Latin American Post | José María González Alonso

Translated from "Tras escalofriantes casos, India aprueba pena de muerte contra violadores"