Darjeeling: As sexual crimes against minors are steadily on the rise in various parts of the country, including Darjeeling, the government has undertaken various efforts to tighten the noose on child molesters by making punishment against rape more stringent, along with the rest of the country.”There were two incidents of abuse of minors in the past 72 hours. A total of 5 persons have been arrested in connection with these two separate cases,” stated Pranay Rai, Public Prosecutor, Darjeeling. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn Sunday, a three-and-a-half-year-old girl was allegedly abused in Darjeeling. According to the FIR, she was molested by a 49-year-old man, who was known to her father. Sources stated that the incident occurred when the victim was at home withher father.49-year-old Ramashanker Saha, the neighbor, arrived at the house and had offered drinks to the victim’s father. When the father was in an inebriated state, he had committed the crime.Later, the victim bleeding profusely and in grave trauma, broke down in front of her mother. An FIR was lodged and Saha was immediately arrested. “He has been charged under Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act,” stated the Public Prosecutor. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn another case, a 16-year-old was allegedly gangraped by four men on Saturday in Darjeeling. Laku Subba, Wangdi tamang, Kamal Mothay and Brijesh Mothay have been arrested under Section 6 of the POCSO Act and remanded to judicial custody. “These are special cases. Though we do not have fast track courts, we will try to end the trial within a month,” stated Rai. Incidentally, the Cabinet has already approved an Ordinance (Executive Order) awarding death penalty in case of rape of girls below the age of 12. The Cabinet has further recommended the increase of punishment to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment in case of rape of a girl below the age of 16. In case of women being raped, the punishment is to be increased to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment from the existing 7 years.The Cabinet has prescribed the mandatory completion of investigation and trial of rape cases withintwo months.Establishing more fast track courts, the appointment of PPs and special forensic kits to be made available at police stations has been recommended.As per reports in 2016, alone 40,000 rape cases had been registered in India, out of which 40% of the cases involve minors.