Crime and punishment: On Nirbhaya case convicts’ hanging-THE HINDU
The pre-dawn hangings of four men convicted of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman may have brought a semblance of closure to her parents, prompting her mother, to say, “Women will now feel safe. A little over seven years later, the first date of execution was set for January 22, and the convicts tried all legal avenues possible to escape the punishment. After the executions, on Friday, her mother said, “Families will start teaching their boys that the punishment for such a crime will be severe. Verma Committee to look into rape laws.
Now, repeat offenders in rape cases, even those that unlike the Nirbhaya case did not involve murder, can be awarded the death sentence. The Verma Committee had argued instead for rigorous imprisonment of a convict for life. It is a fact that sexual crimes against women have not come down since the Delhi case. The death penalty could actually encourage the rapist to kill the victim.
Going by data in the National Crime Records Bureau report, released in January 2020, a total of 3.78 lakh cases of crimes against women were recorded across India in 2018 compared to 3.59 lakh in 2017 and 3.38 lakh in 2016. The crime rate per one lakh women population was 58.8 in 2018 compared to 57.9 in 2017. Until Indian leaders, policy-makers and society shed the gender bias and the thinking that they need to protect women as a question of honour, there will be no stopping crimes such as rape, sexual assault and harassment.