Indian Authorities Approve Death Penalty for Rape of Children Below 12 - Reports

© REUTERS / Rupak De ChowdhuriPeople participate in a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Kolkata, India, April 17, 2018
People participate in a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Kolkata, India, April 17, 2018 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Indian government on Saturday approved an ordinance to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce the death penalty for gang rape of girls of age below 12, local media reported.

According to The Economic Times, stringent punishment for rape of girls under 12 years will amount to minimum 20 years of imprisonment, life imprisonment or death penalty. In case of gang rape of a girl below 12 years, the punishment will be life sentence or death penalty.

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Minimum prison terms have been also extended for rape of women and girls under 16 years old — from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years and from 10 years to 20 years respectively.

The ordinance was adopted after a resonant case involving the abduction and rape of a girl aged 8 in Kathua in January. A total of eight people are being accused, including two police officers. According to investigators, they kidnapped the girl from a nomadic Muslim tribe, pumping her with strong drugs. Before the victim was killed, she was kept in one of the Hindu temples of the city.

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