A lawyer who claimed he was working for the bjp has been accused of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl. Reports claim that advocate KP Prem Ananth, a 56-year-old, is a lawyer at Madras High Court.The alleged incident took place on Sunday inside a train. Ananth shared a berth opposite the family of the victim who was on their way to Chennai from Thiruvanthapuram.

When he was caught by the passengers for harassing the child, he threatened that he was connected to the BJP and will make their lives miserable if they did not let him go. Undaunted, the passengers handed him over to the police and he’s now booked under the POSCO Act.

A spokesperson for the BJP said that advocate Ananth is not actively involved in the party and irrespective of his connection to the party, he must be punished. “We would not tolerate such crimes,” said Tamilisai Soundararajan who spoke on behalf of BJP.

The Newly Amended POSCO ACT

Recently, the Indian Cabinet cleared an ordinance to award death penalty to child molesters.

The government made some amendments to the POSCO Act, which apparently had several loopholes for the perpetrators to wriggle out of indictments. As per the ordinance passed by the government, the death sentence will be meted out to those who rape children aged below 12 years. The case will be given a two-month deadline for the probe and two months for the trial. The government also passed an ordinance for new fast-track courts and prosecutors.

Special forensic kits and labs will be set up to investigate the case. The National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a database of offenders. The government also declared that no bail will be issued to perpetrators who rape girls who are 16 or younger. The minimum punishment for rape is 10 years.

The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that he has been championing for the death sentence for child rapists for a long time. Now that the Modi government passed the ordinance, it will stop perpetrators from indulging in such heinous crimes and it will also safeguard the rights of every Indian citizen. “I express my deep gratitude to the Union Cabinet for passing this landmark ordinance,” he said.

Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal, reiterated that that Prime Minister Modi had delivered on his promise of protecting the daughters of India. Death penalty for child rapists and stringent punishment for perpetrators as a whole is a good move, he said.

Shehzad, a civil rights activist, who took to Twitter, said that although it's a responsive step, “We must simultaneously ensure that at a state level that Police Forces are equipped with autonomy, sensitivity and modern forensic tools to secure higher conviction rates.”

However, many are demanding that the punishment for perpetrators should be meted out irrespective of the age of the child and the gender.

“Who came out with this random number? What about a child who is a month older than 12? Trauma is the same for any child. The law should cover all children whose age will be under and equal to one in a school system(+2), at the least,” said a user on Twitter.

Nirbhaya’s mother was of the same view. “While I agree that this is a good move, I am not completely satisfied with this ordinance. I prefer death penalty for all rapists,” she said.

Sonam Mahajan, a TV personality, lauded the new amendments to POSCO Act. Lambasting the Assam government, she said: “What Kathua case could make the government do in less than 15 days, Assam couldn't make them do in years. Finally, we have arrived but why only death penalty for child rapists? Why not for all the rapists?”

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