India considers bringing in the death penalty for raping children following series of horrific sex attacks on boys and girls
By Iain Burns For Mailonline
Published: 10:36 BST, 20 April 2018 | Updated: 14:49 BST, 20 April 2018
The Indian government is considering introducing the death penalty for child rapists.
It comes after an appalling week of news about the abuse of children in the country, with a seven-year-old boy murdered and mutilated in Delhi and an eight-year-old girl raped for three days at a temple in Kathua before being killed.
India already has the death penalty for 12 offences - including rape if it leads to the victim's death or to them being left in a vegetative state - but not for rape alone.
Under current law, the maximum penalty for the rape of a child is life imprisonment and a fine.
But according to ANI, the central government has submitted a letter to the country's supreme court to amend the law and to allow for the execution of paedophiles who rape children aged 12 and under.
The submission will be subject to a hearing on April 27.
Maneka Gandhi, the minister for women and child development, is one of many politicians in the country to express outrage over the recent instances of rape in India.
She said, according to the Times of India: '[I] am deeply, deeply disturbed by the rape case in Kathua, and all the recent rape cases.
'I and the ministry intend to bring an amendment to the POCSO Act asking for the death penalty for the rape of children below 12 years of age.'
In the horrifying case in Kathua, Asifa Bano, eight, was gang-raped for three days at an Indian temple.
Her mutilated body was found a week after she was kidnapped by a gang trying to drive away the Muslim nomadic herders to which she belonged in India's Jammu and Kashmir.
Police say she was held in the temple for three days while three men gang-raped her repeatedly before she was strangled and hit twice with a heavy rock.