Madhya Pradesh, India passed a bill that allows the death sentence for those found guilty of raping a girl under 12 years of age
The Madhya Pradesh Assembly unanimously passed the bill
The bill was sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for final approval
Madhya Pradesh hold the title of the “rape capital” of India
Madhya Pradesh, India has responded to their growing problem of rape and sexual assaults, especially towards young girls, by passing a bill that allows the death penalty for pedophiles.
The bill proposes that anybody found guilty of raping a girl below the age of 12 can be sentenced to death by hanging. The Madhya Pradesh Assembly unanimously passed the bill, which will now be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for final approval before being enacted.
State Legislative Affairs Minister Rampal Singh introduced the bill named, “Dand Vidhi (Madhya Pradesh Sanshodhan) Vidheyak, 2017.” According to the India Times, the bill “amended sections, 376 (a)(a) recommending the death sentence or a minimum 14 years to life imprisonment for raping a girl aged 12 or less. In cases of gang-rape of minor under Section 376 (b)(a), the government recommended the death penalty or minimum 20 years to life in jail.”
In November the Madhya Pradesh Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, approved the proposed bill. Chouhan said he would leave no stone unturned to ensure the bill receives the President assent.
Madhya Pradesh holds the title of “rape capital” of India. In 2015, there were 4,391 cases reported in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra with 4,144, Rajasthan with 3,644, and Uttar Pradesh with 2,934 according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released in August of 2016.
The 2015 report showed the lowest number of rape cases for Madhya Pradesh compared to the few years prior. During the time of the report, 4,547 were reported as kidnapped in Madhya Pradesh. However, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam reported more kidnappings than Madhya Pradesh the year prior.
In Madhya Pradesh, the City of Indore had 453 reported abductions of women, followed by Bhopal with 431, Jabalpur with 363, and Gwalior with 177. Along with rape cases, Madhya Pradesh had 8,049 cases of assault, which was the second highest in the country under the 11,713 cases in Maharashtra.
State Director General of Police Rishi Kumar Shukla defended Madhya Pradesh by saying the numbers did not paint the state as the “rape capital.” Instead, Shukla claims the number of cases shows the state is serious about stopping crimes against women.
MP is perhaps the only state in the country to have a dedicated crime-against-women cell.