India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, ordered death penalty for some rapists to be introduced

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The order will also force police to complete rape investigations within two months and extend maximum sentences for the rape of girls under 16 and women. In fact, Modi will bypass Parliament and only signed by the President the order will take effect. In January, Asifa Bano, an eight-year-old girl from Kathua in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, was abducted, drugged and raped in a small Hindu temple. After five days the girl, who was a member of a nomadic Muslim tribe, was killed with a rock. Other similar casses occurred in India.

Indian-protest-over-the-rape-of-a-young-girl
Indian protest over the rape of a young girl

The Indian penal code, colonial-era legislation adopted after independence, allows the death penalty for murder, kidnapping, terrorism and treason, as well as a rape that leaves the victim in a persistent vegetative state. Since 2003, there have been three executions and 371 prisoners are on death row. It is common for court cases to last years or even decades – the longest civil case began in 1878 and has yet to be settled. There were 40,000 rapes reported in 2016, with children making up 40% of victims. The National Crime Records Bureau said in the same year only 28.2% of the child sexual abuse cases brought to trial had resulted in convictions.Modi’s executive order calls for the mandatory completion of rape investigations within two months and for trials to last a maximum of the same period.

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