Girls in schools and colleges of Madhya Pradesh will get be trained in martial arts so they can defend themselves from harassers, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Thursday. He urged women’s groups to commit themselves to launching a campaign against patriarchal mindsets, The Indian Express reported.
Chouhan made the statement at a function organised by women’s groups to honour him for a new bill passed by the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, which allows death penalty for rapists who assault minor girls aged 12 or below.
The chief minister said those who rape minors “have no human rights”. “Some are released after a while in jail and again commit the same crime,” he said. “They are beasts and don’t deserve to live.”
He also said he wanted the debate on death penalty for rape to continue in India and abroad. The government will ensure that the new law is strictly implemented, Chouhan said.
The bill passed by the Madhya Pradesh Assembly will be sent to the Centre and President Ram Nath Kovind for approval. It proposes death penalty, or a minimum of 14 years in jail, or life imprisonment for those convicted of raping girls who are 12 years old or younger.
The bill also proposes strict punishments for stalking, disrobing or sex on the pretext of marriage.