Police have arrested a man who allegedly tortured and raped a five-year-old girl in New Delhi, amid rising protests against the gruesome incident in the capital , demanding action against police insensitivity in handling the case.
Police spokesman on Saturday said they arrested the accused, a 22-year-old man from Chiknouta village located in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar state in India. Apparently, he is being shifted to the Indian capital after a Bihar court granted a three-day transit remand, Reuters reported. The accused is said to be a neighbor of the victim and did odd jobs, the police spokesman added.
Police have slapped murder charges on the accused, identified as Manoj Kumar.
The girl, severely injured in the attack was shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi on Saturday, from an East Delhi hospital where she was admitted, initially.
The accused had allegedly kidnapped the child when she was playing outside the residential complex that houses the flats of both the victim and the accused. She was held in captivity for two days, without food and water in his ground floor flat.
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She was rescued when her family members heard her screams on Wednesday evening.
The incident revived memories of the gang-rape and the subsequent death of a 23-year-old woman aboard a bus in Delhi, last December. The December incident, attracted international attention and triggered massive protests and outrage across the country forcing the government to initiate tougher anti-rape legislation.
The brutal rape of the five-year-old girl has shocked the nation once again as medical reports on Friday pointed to extensive and barbaric torture, the little girl underwent.
Doctors on Saturday said the condition of the girl was stable and she was out of danger. The girl will have to undergo reconstructive surgery as she suffered severe injuries to her private organs.
"She has suffered injuries in her private parts and will need to undergo corrective and reconstruction surgery," D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent at the AIIMS told the India Abroad News Service.
Earlier, doctors at an East Delhi hospital said the girl had severe infection in her stomach.
"After giving anesthesia, more tests were conducted and we found that there were some foreign objects like candle and a 200 ml bottle of hair oil inside her body," Dr R K Bansal, medical superintendent, Swami Dayanand Hospital said, adding that they were not giving her food as she had infection in her stomach also, Hindustan Times reported.
Meanwhile, the inaction and insensitivity of police in handling the case was equally shocking as the incident since parents of the victim accused the police of offering bribes to keep the incident under wraps. One of the police officers also slapped a girl who was protesting against the incident triggering demands for punitive action against the police.
Protests Swell In Delhi, Section 144 Imposed At India Gate
The protests over the incident grew intense in the Indian capital even as political leaders cutting across the political lines condemned the incident and called the government to take stringent action against such perpetrators to quell violence against women and children.
The protesters gathered around Delhi police headquarters and in front of India’s Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s residence demanding action against the insensitive police men, who slapped a female protestor and allegedly attempted to bribe the victim’s parents. Protestors also gathered near the AIIMS where the girl is admitted and shouted slogans against the police and demanded the resignation of Delhi police commissioner.
Protesters attempted to push through the barricades and gates of the police headquarters in an attempt to enter the premises. Protestors at the India Gate also swelled forcing authorities to impose Section 144 of Indian Penal Code that bars unlawful assembly of people in public places.
In the wake massive protests, the Indian government has hinted at a shake-up of the Delhi police top brass, leading local news channel Zee News reported citing Home Minister Shinde. He also ensured a probe into the police lapses in the case registration.