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

After 20 Years On 'The Job,' NYC Police Officer Tells His Intense Stories

"Your heart is pounding; your adrenaline is shooting out of your ears," Steve Osborne says. "And you got one second to get it right." He retired from the force in 2003. His memoir is called The Job.
NPR

5 Million Chickens To Be Killed As Bird Flu Outbreak Puzzles Industry

A flu strain deadly to chickens and turkeys is striking farms in the West and Midwest. This week, it hit an Iowa facility with millions of egg-laying hens. No one knows how it's entering houses.
NPR

Senate Deal On Human Trafficking Bill Ends Gridlock On Lynch Vote

Senate negotiators reached a deal Tuesday on an anti-human trafficking bill, which is expected to pave the way for the Senate to finally vote on Loretta Lynch's nomination for Attorney General.
NPR

Google's New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears Of "Mobilegeddon"

This week, Google started prioritizing mobile-friendly websites in Google searches made on a smartphone. The change could hurt businesses whose sites don't pass Google's mobile-ready test.

Leave a Comment

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