President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said that convicts charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act should not be allowed a mercy plea. He said the country’s conscience gets shaken by “demonic” attacks on women, PTI reported.

“Women’s safety is a very serious issue,” Kovind said at an event in Mount Abu. “A lot of work has been done on this subject but much remains to be done...It is the responsibility of every parent to instil among boys the feeling of respect for women.”

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act was enacted in 2012 to deal with cases of sexual offences against children. The Constitution allows convicts on death row to approach the President with a mercy plea to get their punishment commuted or pardoned.

Several cases of rape and crimes against women have captured the country’s attention in the last few days. A veterinarian was allegedly raped and killed before being set on fire in Hyderabad last month. On Monday, a 40-year-old man was arrested for allegedly raping, and murdering a six-year-old girl in Rajasthan’s Tonk district. The same day, four men, including a former police constable, allegedly gangraped a minor girl in Odisha’s Puri district.