Demonic attacks on women have shaken the conscience of the country, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday and advocated that those convicted under the POCSO Act should be deprived of their right to mercy petition.
It is for the Parliament to take a decision on the matter and make necessary constitutional amendments, "but the thought of all of us is moving ahead in that direction", he said while addressing an event in Rajasthan's Abu Road on the issue of women safety.
"Incidents of demonic assaults on daughters shake the conscience of the country. It is the duty of every parent, citizens, yours and mine to strengthen among boys the sense of respect towards women.
"In this context, several things are coming up. Such convicts have been given the right of mercy petition by the Constitution. I have said that there should be reconsideration on this.... In cases under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, they be deprived of the right of mercy petition. They do not need any such right," he said.
The President's remarks came at a time the country witnessed several cases of brutal attacks on women.
A rape survivor from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh was set alight by five men, including two of the accused, on Thursday when she was on her way to court. The woman is battling for life at a hospital in Delhi with 90 per cent burns.
A 25-year-old veterinarian was raped, killed and burnt in Hyderabad last month. The charred body of the woman, working as an assistant veterinarian at a state-run hospital, was found under a culvert in Shadnagar, near Hyderabad, in the morning of November 28, a day after she went missing.
Speaking on women empowerment, President Kovind said that education is important for the empowerment of women.
"It is true that when you make a boy educated, it gives benefit to one family but when you make a girl educated, its benefit goes to two families. Another important fact is that the children of an educated woman do not remain uneducated," he said.
Kovind said that financial empowerment of women was equally important and the Centre's Jan Dhan Yojana has played an important role in that direction.
The president was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day national convention on the empowerment of women for social transformation at Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya at Abu Road in Sirohi district.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine