Maliwal urges lawmakers to raise women safety issue

Swati Maliwal during the strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena
Special Correspondent NEW DELHI 05 December 2019 02:14 IST
Updated: 05 December 2019 02:15 IST

DCW chief is on an indefinite hunger strike

Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal, who is on an indefinite hunger strike to demand capital punishment for rapists within six months of their conviction, on Wednesday wrote to women MPs to ensure that the demands of the DCW are met.

Ms. Maliwal said that after her hunger strike last year, the Central government introduced a law that guaranteed death penalty to the rapists of young children and also a written commitment that the trial of rape cases would conclude in six months.

“It was assured that in three months, police resources of the entire country would be increased, police accountability would be fixed and the number of fast track courts would be increased. But it is very sad that the incidents of rape have not been curbed till date. The law has become a joke and the daughters of the country are being sacrificed every day,” Ms. Maliwal said.


Implementation of law

She told women MPs that merely making the law was not enough and it will also have to be implemented. “You are requested to immediately implement the law of death sentence for all rapists in six months and all the necessary mechanisms should be started for this,” she wrote in her letter.

“To ensure that the rapists are hanged in six months, the laws should be amended, the discharge of the case and all appeals, the time limit of all other recourses, including mercy petition, should be fixed in the law for maximum of six months. Nothing will change until the time limit is mentioned in the law,” Ms. Maliwal said.

Shortage of policemen

She also pointed out that there was a shortage of police personnel across the country and a lack of fast track courts as well.

The DCW chief also alleged that the Nirbhaya fund has not been put to any concrete use till date. “This money could have been used to save the lives of the girls of the country. This fund should be distributed among the States immediately and used to strengthen the mechanisms necessary for women’s safety,” she said.

Content of letter

In her letter, Ms. Maliwal wrote that over the last three years, the DCW had dealt with 55,000 cases, attended 2.15 lakh calls on 181 helplines, made 75,000 ground visits, assisted victims in 33,000 court cases, 11,000 counselling sessions and made over 200 recommendations to Union and State governments but had still not managed to stop rapes and therefore a stricter law was needed. She requested women lawmakers to raise these issues in Parliament and also join her at Rajghat, the venue of her protest, in solidarity with her.

More In Delhi