Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday said the state would enact a law to provide capital punishment to those found guilty of sexually abusing girls aged 12 years or below, PTI reported.
His statement comes after anger over the recent series of incidents of rapes reported in Haryana. In the last one week, at least nine cases of rape have been reported in the state.
Khattar said the government will request for the setting up of fast-track courts that will deal with rape cases to ensure speedy justice. “I am really hurt by the incidents being reported lately,” Khattar said, according to ANI. “We have decided to make strong provisions [for harsher punishment]. If such incidents of rape with girls below 12 are proven true, we will pass an act providing capital punishment for the accused in this session.”
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader also claimed that the media was sensationalising the incidents of sexual assault in his state. “I urge the media not to sensationalise by publishing reports on rape incidents without verifying details,” the chief minister said. “Figures suggest that 25% of the rape complaints registered at police stations last year were fake.”
He also said that in 75% of rape cases, it is found out that friends and relatives of the victims are involved. “Besides the police, it is also the responsibility of the society to come forward and generate awareness among the people against such mentality,” IANS quoted Khattar as saying.
The Haryana government has been severely criticised after five incidents of sexual assaults were reported in the state in five days. A delegation of Congress leaders had urged Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki on Wednesday to ask Khattar to resign and impose President’s Rule in Haryana.
In December, the Madhya Pradesh government unanimously passed a bill that awards death penalty to rapists who assault minors aged 12 or below.