India Today - - UPFRONT -

Grow­ing pub­lic anger over the rape of an eight-year-old Mus­lim girl in Jammu and the rape of a teenager in Un­nao, UP, has prompted the gov­ern­ment to bring in an or­di­nance en­abling courts to sen­tence those con­victed of rap­ing girls un­der 12 to death; it is un­clear if the or­di­nance ap­plies to boys. Crit­ics claimed the or­der was a pop­ulist sop. Is there ev­i­dence, the Delhi High Court asked in re­sponse to a pe­ti­tion, that the death penalty serves as a de­ter­rent? The Jus­tice Verma com­mis­sion, formed in the af­ter­math of the 2012 Nirb­haya case, ar­gued that it didn’t. Na­tional crime sta­tis­tics show sex­ual vi­o­lence against chil­dren is on the rise. No­bel lau­re­ate and child rights activist Kailash Sat­yarthi calls it a “na­tional emer­gency”.

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