A series of gruesome child rape cases over recent months continues to leave India reeling. In January, an eight-year-old girl was abducted in remote Jammu and Kashmir state, before she was drugged, starved, gang-raped and murdered. During the fallout, it emerged that two teenagers were raped, doused in kerosene and set on fire in the eastern state of Jharkhand, one of them dying from her injuries. There were 10,854 cases of child rape reported nationally in 2015, while this number rose to 19,765 in 2016. This means that child rape now makes up about 40 percent of the reported rape cases. The Indian Express, joining a chorus of outrage, called it a "huge spike in the rape of children". "It is for the first time that such a sharp increase in sexual assaults on children has been registered," the newspaper said. Prime Minister Modi has vowed to hang those "of demonic tendencies who misbehave with (our) daughters".Save the Children's Mr Kumar told SBS News "there is no evidence that the death penalty for child rape acts as deterrence"."We believe that the focus should be on enforcing existing laws in a speedy manner."He pointed to the fact that the Indian government brought in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act in 2012 but there has been no reduction in cases. UNICEF India similarly questioned the death penalty, saying in a tweet "we hope this will be backed up by real investments in protecting children, in making schools, public spaces but above all our own homes and communities safe for children".