Mumbai, Apr 14 (PTI) Veteran actor and BJP MP Hema Malini today echoed the views expressed by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and demanded that rapists of children below 12 years must be “hanged to death”.

Yesterday, Maneka said that she had asked her department to work on a proposal to amend the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to bring in the provision of death penalty for the rape of a minor below the age of 12 years.

Taking to Twitter, Malini called for a national movement against “animals who don’t spare even babies” and said media should also support the cause.

“Daily newspaper reports of rape happening in every part of our country! Kathua, Unnao are (nothing) but two of the long list of shame. Can these mindless rapists even be classified as human beings? They are beasts on the rampage & should be hanged to death for their heinous crimes,” Malini, who is the BJP MP from Mathura, tweeted.

“There should be a national uprising with strong support from the media, against these animals who don’t spare even babies & toddlers! I agree with Manekaji that death penalty should be instantaneous once proven guilty & there should be no bail or pardon, juveniles included, for all rapes,” she added.

In the present POCSO law, there is no provision for capital punishment, with the maximum sentence being life imprisonment for penetrative sexual assault as well aggravated penetrative sexual assault.

In Kathua, an eight-year-old girl from the nomadic Bakerwal community had gone missing from near her house on January 10 and a week later, her body was found in the same area.

In the Unnao case, a 17-year-old girl has alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar at his residence on June 4 last year.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.