After a number of high-profile crimes that sparked outrage and protests, India will allow the death penalty [bbc.com] for those convicted of raping girls under the age of 12:
The executive order was cleared at a special cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It allows capital punishment for anyone convicted of raping children under the age of 12. Minimum prison sentences for rape against girls under the age of 16 and women have also been raised.
According to Reuters, which has seen a copy of the order, there was no mention of boys or men.
Two recent rape cases have shocked the nation. Protests erupted earlier this month after police released horrific details of the rape of an eight-year-old Muslim girl by Hindu men in Kathua [bbc.co.uk], in Indian-administered Kashmir in January. Anger has also been mounting after a member of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was accused last week over the rape of a 16-year-old girl in northern Uttar Pradesh state [bbc.co.uk].
India's poor record of dealing with sexual violence came to the fore after the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus. This led to huge protests and changes to the country's rape laws. But sexual attacks against women and children have since continued to be reported across the country.
Related: Indian Government Attempts to Suppress Rape Documentary [soylentnews.org]