Madhya Pradesh Assembly has approved a bill awarding the death penalty for rape or gangrape convicts in case of children below age 12 years. And the nods may not be all that hard to come by, because the Central government is run by the BJP-led NDA, and President Ram Nath Kovind was also the BJP candidate to the post.
The MP government on November 26 had cleared a proposal for a law on awarding the death sentence to those guilty of raping girls aged 12 or below in the state in the winter session of the state's Legislature.
The last year's report showed that the state reported highest number of rape cases (4,391 out of 38,947 cases) in the country in 2015.
The Madhya Pradesh government also made a decision to give harsher punishment to those guilty of molesting, stalking and harassing women.
The bill proposes a minimum of 14 years of rigorous imprisonment for any person found guilty of raping a girl aged 12 or less.
On October 31, a 19-year-old civil services aspirant was gang-raped by four men near Habibganj railway station in Bhopal. The bill was brought for discussion in the Cabinet last week following a recent announcement by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan that laws will be strengthened to protect girls.
Speaking to ANI on the bill, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said those who rape minor girls were not humans but devils and they didn't have the right to live.
He added that the new bill makes even repeated stalking a non-bailable offence, with offenders facing strict punishment.
December 16 would mark the anniversary of the infamous Jyoti Singh rape case in 2012, that garnered worldwide headlines.