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DCW Head on Hunger Strike, Asks Women MPs to Debate Safety in Parl

Maliwal has demanded capital punishment for rapists within six months of their conviction.

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India
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Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal on Wednesday, 4 December appealed to all women MPs to raise the issue of women's safety in the Parliament.

Maliwal, who is on a hunger strike in Delhi, to demand capital punishment for rapists within six months of their conviction, urged women MPs to ensure that the demands of the DCW were met.

On Tuesday, 3 December, Maliwal had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that rapists be hanged, within six months of their conviction.

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‘Chosen Women Who Can Fight From The Highest Platform of The Country’

In a letter addressed to women MPs, she cited the gang rape and murder of the Hyderabad veterinarian, and the rape and murder of a six-year-old in Rajasthan. She argued that children and women are becoming the victims of sexual crimes across the India.

In the letter, she urged the women MPs in the Parliament to raise DCW's demands which include immediate hanging of Nibhaya's rapists, time-bound redressal of mercy petitions and increase in police resources.

The demands of DCW also include creation of more fast-track courts and adequate use of the Nirbhaya fund. The body has also stressed on digitising the police force and creating a software to fix police accountability.

“With folded hands, I appeal to you to take the lead in raising these demands... You are few of those chosen women who have been given an opportunity to fight for women’s rights from the highest platform of the country,” she said.

She also hoped the MPs would come to the where she was on a hunger strike.

Maliwal also highlighted the initiatives of the DCW. She stressed that on the 10th day of her hunger strike last year to demand death penalty for rape of minors, President Ram Nath Kovind had promulgated an ordinance to give stringent punishment. This ordinance included death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below 12 years.

In the last three years, DCW has heard 55,000 cases, attended 2.15 lakh calls on 181 helpline, conducted 75,000 ground visits, assisted victims in 33,000 court cases, held 11,000 counselling sessions and set over 200 counselling centres, she said in the letter.

“Despite doing so much, when rapes happen with the daughters of the country, one feels bad,” she said.

Maliwal started her hunger strike on Tuesday, 3 December in the aftermath of the recent rape incidents reported from across the country.

On Monday, members in both the Houses of Parliament had expressed outrage over the rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad and other such incidents in the country, while the Centre had said it was ready to amend laws to bring in stringent provisions and ensure speedy justice.

Speaking in the Upper House, Samajwadi Party’s Jaya Bachchan had said the rapists should be “brought out in public and lynched.”

NCP's Supriya Sule had said that there should be "zero tolerance" towards such incidents.

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As the Protest Grew Larger, Delhi Police Intervened

Hours after DCW chief Swati Maliwal began her indefinite hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar on 3 December, the Delhi Police asked her to shift from the site. She relented late in the night.

The police had asked her to vacate the site at Jantar Mantar citing court orders, but Maliwal had dug in her heels and insisted on continuing it there.

Late in the night, police officials and the DCW said that the two sides reached a consensus to move to Samta Sthal near Rajghat and continue the hunger strike.

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