'Rapists must be hanged within 6 months of conviction'

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal sits on indefinite hunger strike against the Hyderabad rape-murder case and growing incidents of crime against women at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi, Monday, Dec. 3, 2019. Photo/PTI

Amid nationwide outrage over Hyderabad veterinarian rape and murder case, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal on Tuesday sat on an indefinite hunger strike, demanding for much tougher laws to hang the culprits of rape till death within six months from the date of their conviction.

She also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding that the existing laws should further be amended to provide for the award of the death penalty to “all rapists” within six months of their conviction by the courts.

She urged the Prime Minister to provide “funds” to all the States “immediately” for setting up an adequate number of fast track courts in every district to ensure speedy trial of the cases of sexual abuse.

Underlining that merely making a law tougher would not serve the purpose, she urged the Prime Minister to take necessary steps to ensure that the laws are also implemented in the country in the letter and spirit.

Maliwal called for making police "accountable" in the country, urging the Prime Minister to also ensure that all the States have an “adequate” number of policemen.

In her letter to the Prime Minister, she also demanded that convicts in the Delhi's Nirbhaya gang-rape case, who have been awarded the death penalty by the trial court in 2013, should “immediately” be hanged till death.

“I will continue to sit on hunger strike until my demands are met. All rapists should be hanged till death within six months of their conviction,” Maliwal told DH.

Though the DCW chief sat on her hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, Delhi police refused to allow her to continue with her agitation, citing prohibitory orders.

"We do not have any tent here and it will be difficult for us to spend the night. They are telling us that they will throw us out from here by 5 in the evening," Maliwal said.

Hundreds of women and some school girls joined the DCW chief in her protest.

They raised slogans highlighting the lack of security that women feel in the country, demanding justice for the Hyderabad veterinarian and all other victims of rape.

Maliwal noted that Delhi was facing a shortage of 66,000 policemen, demanding that Union government must take immediate steps to meet the shortage.

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