The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to include death penalty for sexual assault on minors, PTI reported. The amendments also provide for fines and imprisonment for those indulging in child pornography.

“It intends to protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity,” the government said. “The amendment is aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof.”

The Centre added that the amendment will discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent, due to strong penal provisions.

There have been several cases of child rape in the recent past. Earlier this month, an unidentified man abducted and allegedly raped a seven-year-old girl in Shastri Nagar area of Jaipur. Security was increased and internet services were suspended in the area after protests by locals gained momentum.

In June, an eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped and murdered in Bhopal. The child’s body was found near a drain in Bhopal’s Kamla Nagar. As many as six police officers were suspended following the incident.