Sexual Assault Of Child Sparks Protests In India's Capital | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Sexual Assault Of Child Sparks Protests In India's Capital

A 5-year-old girl was in serious condition Saturday after being raped and tortured by a man who held her in a locked room in India's capital for two days, officials said.

The girl went missing Monday and was found Wednesday by neighbors who heard her crying in a room in the same New Delhi building where she lives with her parents, said Delhi police official Deepak Mishra. The girl was found alone locked in a room and left for dead, he said.

A 24-year-old man who lived in the room where the girl was found was arrested Saturday in Muzaffarpur town in Bihar state, about 620 miles east of New Delhi, Mishra said. The man was flown to New Delhi, where a magistrate ordered that he be held in police custody.

The girl suffered severe internal injuries, as well as cuts and bite marks on her face and torso, said D.K. Sharma, the medical superintendent of the government-run hospital in New Delhi where she was being treated. Sharma described the girl's condition as "serious" and said doctors were trying to stabilize her condition.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people in New Delhi protested Saturday near the home minister's residence and outside police headquarters demanding government action against the police for allegedly failing to immediately investigate after the girl was reported missing.

Rights activists and officials said the girl's parents went to police Monday to report their daughter was missing, but that police refused to register a case. The parents are poor construction workers who had migrated to the city some years ago in search of work.

"The police did nothing. They did not register a complaint, the first step before they can begin investigations," said Ranjana Kumari, a women's rights activist and social scientist. "This heinous crime could have been prevented if police had begun investigations promptly."

Police had no immediate comment on the accusations, but Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Saturday that an inquiry had been ordered into the handling of the case.

The growing outrage against alleged police high-handedness in India led even the country's normally reticent leader to react.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the police behavior "completely unacceptable." He conveyed to Delhi authorities "the need for the strictest possible action to be taken against the erring officials," the prime minister's office said in a statement late Friday.

The incident came four months after the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus sparked outrage across India and spurred the government to pass tough laws for crimes against women, including the death penalty for repeat offenders or for rape attacks that lead to the victim's death.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

WWI Diaries Of Poet Siegfried Sassoon Go Public For First Time

Nearly a dozen notebooks and journals by the author, who fought in the British Army during the war, are being released to coincide with the centenary of the start of the conflict.
NPR

Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget

A Canadian scholar was unimpressed with the cookbooks available for people on food stamps in the U.S. So she decided to come up with her own set of tips and recipes for eating well on $4 a day.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Businessman Frequently Contacted Ex-Governor's Wife

A wealthy businessman who says his relationship with Virginia's former governor was all about business contacted the governor's wife more than 1,200 times in two years.
NPR

Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.