New Delhi:  After being on a hunger strike for the past nine days to demand a stringent law for the protection of a girl child against sexual assault, Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal called off her hunger strike, hours after President Ram Nath Kovind signed the ordinance to amend the POCSO Act.

The ordinance, approved by the Union Cabinet on Saturday, provides for stringent punishment, including the death penalty, to those convicted of raping girls below 12 years of age. Hours after the ordinance was approved by the Cabinet, Maliwal announced that she would call of her indefinite fast on Sunday afternoon. She, however, said that the struggle for women safety will continue.

Earlier, the DCW chief had said that she will not end her fast until “something concrete happens” to ensure the safety of a girl child. Maliwal had continued her indefinite fast despite the deterioration in her health, to uphold the demands for protection of women, especially minor girls, against the heinous crimes.

Her hunger strike began after the heinous Kathua incident involving the brutal sexual assault on the eight-year-old girl that shook the country after the Nirbhaya case. During the past nine days, Maliwal received huge support from people belonging to all walks of life.