India: activists protest against new rape laws
Published : 2013-02-04 20:36
Updated : 2013-02-04 20:36
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Scores of demonstrators have gathered near India's Parliament to protest a new sexual violence law they say is inadequate.
The government Monday defended its decision to approve an ordinance over the weekend that prescribed harsher punishment for rapists.
But activists say the law only partially followed the recommendations of a government panel set up after the fatal gang rape of a woman in New Delhi two months ago.
Activists say the new law does not deal with marital rape or sexual violence against women by armed forces personnel in conflict zones.
Though the new law takes effect immediately, it needs to be passed by Parliament within six months.
A senior minister said the government intends to hold consultations with political parties and lawmakers before passing the law in Parliament.