Hyderabad: CPM leader Brinda Karat on Saturday said her party is in-principle against death penalty and the actual issue is that those in the government are "defending the rapists".
Her comment came on a day the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to provide stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of rape of girls below 12 years, amid a nation-wide outrage over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat, and the rape of a girl in Unnao.
"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.
In an apparent reference to the lawyers' protest attempting to obstruct filing of charge sheet in Kathua rape-and-murder case, she said, "We have heard about the BJP being 'gau rakshaks' but now they are rapist 'rakshaks'. The penalty should be against the rapist 'rakshaks'."
In Hyderabad, where the CPM party congress is being held, she said, "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."
The Left leader also alleged that the BJP-led central government has very little credibility and that the ordinance is not addressing the issue which is agitating the minds of Indian people.
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Updated Date: Apr 22, 2018 12:40:53 IST