NEW DELHI: Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal on Sunday her indefinite hunger strike. She had been on fast for the last 10 days seeking death penalty for those who have been convicted of raping minors. Calling it a historic victory, she said: "I was fighting alone but then I was supported by people across the country. I think this is a historical victory in independent India. I congratulate everyone on this victory."
She made the decision to end her hunger strike after the Cabinet approved an ordinance to give stringent punishment, including the death penalty, to those convicted of raping girls below 12 years.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday signed the ordinance allowing death for child rapists with immediate effect. The ordinance paves way for providing stringent punishment to those convicted of raping children.
The Ordinance amends the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The notification stated that since Parliament is not in session and President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.
Maliwal began her fast on April 13 in the wake of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua in January and other similar crime elsewhere.
Welcoming the Cabinet's decision to approve the ordinance, Maliwal had said, "Until something concrete happens, I will not give up. Until a system is there to ensure safety of the last girl, I won't give up. When the Prime Minister can suddenly bring an ordinance without anybody knowing about it, when he can implement such a big project, then why can't he do these few things? Till the time these are not done, my fast will not end," she had said on Saturday.