At a time when the Narendra Modi government is making efforts to address the issue of rampant increase in rape cases reported in India, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar courted controversy on Saturday. He said that rampant incidents of rape in the country are unfortunate, but sometimes they cannot be prevented.
"Such incidents (rape cases) are unfortunate, but sometimes cannot be prevented," Gangwar told media.
Asserting that Central Government is actively taking action against such incidents, he said that hue and cry should not be created if one or two such incidents rake up in a big country like India.
The minister's statement comes amid an outrage over Kathua and Unnao rape cases that have taken the country by a storm.
President Ramnath Kovind on Sunday promulgated the ordinance to strengthen the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.In the wake of an increase in incidents of rape of minors, the Union Cabinet on Saturday approved a number of measures to amend the POCSO Act.As per government sources, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the promulgation of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, for effective deterrence against the commission of rape, thereby instilling a sense of security among women and especially young girls in the country.
The ordinance seeks death penalty for the rapists of girls below 12 years of age and stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape particularly of girls below 16 years.The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.