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Women's groups reject anti-rape law ordinance

New Delhi, Feb 3: Leading women organisations have rejected the ordinance on sexual crimes against women terming it as "complete betrayal" of people's faith in the government and urged President Pranab Mukherjee not to sign

PTI Updated on: February 03, 2013 9:47 IST

It also proposes enhanced punishment for other crimes against women like stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks, indecent gestures like words and inappropriate touch and brings into its ambit 'marital rape'

The group said the government should have adopted a holistic approach to the Verma Committee report, which is comprehensive, and multifaceted.

The group said violence suffered by women in conflict situations are also exempted by the government in the ordinance.

"Issues of sexual autonomy, the rights of women not be raped within marriage, the concerns of those with alternative sexualities, have been ignored. The discussions around the death penalty which led to the Verma committee not including it in the recommendations have not been considered," it added

The women activists said while the Verma Committee recommended that rape should be made gender specific, this has not been accepted in the ordinance, which "dilutes the seriousness" of the crime against women substantially.

"Women's organisations were also petitioning the Government to strengthen certain provisions to ensure time bound trial, proper rehabilitation, and inclusion of aggravated assault for crimes against the oppressed castes and classes. The additional exploitation faced by dalit adivasis, economically backward sections should also be included," it said.

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