KEY POINTS

  • The boy sexually assaulted the teen twice about three months back
  • The teen allegedly told their mother about the abuse
  • The mother did not pay attention to the matter

A 12-year-old boy has raped his 16-year-old sister twice, impregnating her.

The abuse, which took place in India's capital Delhi, came to light when the employer of the children's mother noticed the girl's growing belly and confronted the teen about her health. The girl revealed that her younger brother had sexually assaulted her twice about three months prior and the two had not been aware of the act's consequences, reported Prag News.

The employer immediately contacted Childline, a nonprofit that helps promote child rights in the country.

"When the employer informed Childline, police started investigating the matter and it came to light that the parents did not realize the gravity of the situation," a police officer told the local daily Times of India.

The teen had allegedly confided in her mother but the latter did not pay attention to the matter.

"The family thought the girl had an infection and did not realize she was pregnant," the police officer added.

The 12-year-old boy was taken into custody and sent to a juvenile shelter Tuesday.

The teen will be undergoing tests and an ultrasound to ascertain her pregnancy status. She is currently placed at a shelter.

The girl and her brother stayed with their parents and three others siblings in a rented home. While their father was a construction worker, their mother worked as a maid. The girl has studied up to grade 7 while her brother is currently in grade 3.

Cases of rape and abuse have been on the rise in India in the last few years. Rape is the fourth most common crime committed against women in the country. In 2017 alone, more than 32,500 rape cases were registered, which was about 90 per day. However, Indian courts made rulings in only about 18,300 such cases in 2017, leaving over 127,000 cases pending at the end of the year.

Earlier this week, a man in the Indian state of Kerala was taken into custody after he allegedly raped and killed a 6-year-old girl, who was later found hanging in her room. An autopsy revealed that the girl had been severely tortured as well.

Outrage at brutal cases of gang rape have sparked street protests across India in the past few years Representational image of people protesting against rape. Photo: AFP / MONEY SHARMA