India seeks death penalty for rape of girls under 12

India’s government has decided to prescribe the death penalty for people convicted of raping girls under the age of 12 to combat an increase in crimes against women.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported Saturday that the ordinance is being sent to the president for approval. It will require the approval of Parliament within six months in order the become law.

The decision follows an outrage over the recent brutal rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl in Jammu-Kashmir state and the alleged rape of a girl by a ruling party lawmaker in Uttar Pradesh state.

Countrywide protests following a 2012 New Delhi gang rape and murder case prompted the government to double prison terms for rapists to 20 years.

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