Rape of 5-year-old ignites furious protest in India
NEW DELHI — Several hundred people protesting the rape and kidnapping of a 5-year-old girl descended on police headquarters Saturday, waving signs, overrunning barriers and calling for the resignation of the capital city's police commissioner.
The angry demonstration, which spread to a hospital and the homes of two senior officials, was reminiscent of the outcry after a 23-year-old student was brutally raped and killed in December, a crime that shook the nation and led to tougher laws and the creation of special courts for rape cases.
Police arrested Manoj Kumar, 22, who reportedly had fled to the central impoverished state of Bihar after the attack. Authorities said he was being returned to New Delhi to face rape, kidnapping and attempted murder charges. He reportedly lived in the same building as the young victim.
Public anger has been directed at police who, according to news reports, offered the child's family $40 to keep quiet and told them they were lucky their child was alive. In addition, video showed a policeman slapping a female protester.
Sushil Kumar Shinde, India's home minister, said an official inquiry would consider allegations of police negligence. A judge imposed restrictions on public assemblies around India Gate, a monument and popular protest site in the capital.
According to police and local news reports, the 5-year-old went missing Monday evening while playing in front of the building where her family lives in a New Delhi slum. Police said the child was taken to another apartment in the building, and over a 40-hour period was attacked, strangled and left for dead before neighbors heard her cries.
The suspect, who reportedly was recently married, was described as a garment factory worker who lived with his father, a juice seller. He fled after the attack to his in-laws' hometown in Bihar and was apprehended with the help of cellphone records, authorities said.
Doctors at the state-run All India Institute of Medical Sciences hospital told reporters that the child's condition was stable and she was “conscious and alert,” but her wounds were infected and she could require corrective surgery.
The victim's name will not be released because of her age and the nature of the crime, but the Indian news media have dubbed her Masoom, or “Innocent.”
The brutality of the attack has shocked the nation.
B.N. Bansal, a doctor with Swami Dayanand Hospital, where the victim was first taken for treatment, told reporters on Friday that early, effective treatment was essential. He said the child had bruises on her lips, cheeks and arms and cuts around her neck.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Marijuana reform advances in Chile
- Iraqi jet misfire kills 12 in Baghdad
- EU awaits Greek plan for bailout
- Iraqi fighter jet drops bomb over Baghdad, kills 12 people
- Bombs at mosque, restaurant in central Nigerian city kill 44
- Half a million faithful attend pope’s Ecuadoran Mass
- Little hope of survivors in Indonesian plane crash
- Egyptian president plans tougher legal system in speech at burial of prosecutor
- Images show Chinese airstrip on man-made Spratly island nearly finished
- Death toll from capsized Philippine ferry rises to 50
- Iran tells U.S. to curtail ‘coercion’