Death Penalty For Rapists Of Minors Is To Divert Attention From Kathua: Brinda Karat

| April 22 , 2018 , 13:28 IST

CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat on Saturday alleged that the BJP defends rapists, referring to the lawyers protest against the filing of the charge-sheet in the Kathua rape and murder case and added that the announcement of the death penalty for rapists was a way to divert attention from Kathua.

The Union Cabinet on Saturday had approved an ordinance providing stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years, after nation-wide outrage over the gangrape and murder of an 8-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua.

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"We have heard about the BJP being 'gau rakshaks' but now they are rapist 'rakshaks'. The penalty should be against the rapist 'rakshaks'," said Karat in Hyderabad where the CPI(M) party Congress is being held.

"This (the ordinance) is to divert the attention from the grievous nature of the assault on basic judicial processes, where even the lawyers try to stop the police from filing charge sheet. The government is trying to bring this (ordinance) in. We want certainty of punishment," she said.

"Already on our statute books death penalty is there for the rarest of rare cases. In-principle, my party, the CPI (M), is against death penalty," Karat said.

"The actual problem is not that there is no death penalty for child rape. The actual issue here is those in government are defending the rapists," she said.

Brinda Karat's statements come in the wake of another rape case that gained fame, when a 17-year-old in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao was allegedly raped by a BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar.