New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday asserted that rape convicts who are booked under the POCSO Act should not be granted the right to file mercy petitions.

Speaking on women’s safety at an event in Rajasthan’s Sirohi at the headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris, Kovind spelt out the need for carrying out tasks aimed at empowering women. He was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, “Women’s safety is a very serious issue. A lot of work has been done on this subject but much remains to be done. Incidents of demonic attack on girls shake the conscience of the country.”

Kovind also requested every parent to be responsible enough to nurture their boy children with feelings of respect for the women folks. “It is the responsibility of every parent to instil among boys the feeling of respect for women,” he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

The President further noted that equality and harmony could prevail in society only through women empowerment. Addressing the national convention on ”Empowerment of Women for Social Transformation”, Kovind acknowledged the relevance of the theme and congratulated the Brahma Kumaris for their role in empowering women for social change in the true sense.

Earlier in the day, the Home Ministry forwarded a mercy plea to President Ram Nath Kovind filed by one of the four accused in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case. Shortly afterwards, the parents of Nirbhaya requested the President to reject the mercy petition, stated a report.

(With agency inputs)