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India
22 Apr 2018

Death for child-rapists: DCW chief Swati Maliwal ends 9-day fast

Delhi Commission for Women chairperson breaks 9-day fast

Swati Maliwal, chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women, ended her 9-day fast at Rajghat, New Delhi on Sunday after President Ram Nath Kovind approved death penalty for those convicted of raping children below 12 years.

Calling it a "historic win", she said, "I was fighting alone but then I was supported by people across the country. I congratulate everyone on this victory."

Here's more.

In context

Delhi Commission for Women chairperson breaks 9-day fast

Maliwal congratulates all Indians on unprecedented victory

Maliwal made six demands in a letter to PM Modi

Context

Maliwal made six demands in a letter to PM Modi

Maliwal went on an indefinite hunger strike after the ghastly Kathua gangrape-and-murder case sparked a nationwide outcry and appeals for stricter punishments for rapists.

In a letter to PM Modi, she listed six demands, including death penalty for child-rape convicts and hiring more policemen.

Despite failing health, she decided to end her fast only after the Modi cabinet approved the ordinance on Saturday.

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'The fast is ending, not the struggle for women safety'

Profile

Who is Swati Maliwal?

The youngest person to ever head the Delhi Commission for Women, Maliwal chose a life in activism over a secure corporate job. The 33-year-old reportedly had an offer from HCL.

An army kid, she was one of the youngest members of India Against Corruption's core committee, the group which eventually grew into the Aam Aadmi Party.

'It is just the beginning'

Maliwal speaks

'It is just the beginning'

Maliwal says despite flooding PM Modi's office with over 5 lakh grievance letters received by DCW, the government took no action, forcing her to go on a hunger strike.

She is happy about the passage of the ordinance but says it's just the beginning. "If the government doesn't implement the law within three months as promised, I will again start my protest," she said.

The ordinance

President signs ordinance to allow death penalty for child rapists

Amid mounting pressure to curb the shocking rise of sexual violence against girls, the Cabinet on Saturday approved the ordinance recommending death penalty for rapists of children below 12.

President Ram Nath Kovind signed the amendment to the POCSO Act today.

It also amends the Indian Penal Code, the Evidence Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure, bringing in stricter laws for all rapes.

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