2nd man arrested in rape of Indian 5-year-old
NEW DELHI — A second suspect was arrested on Monday in the rape of a 5-year-old girl who New Delhi police say was left for dead in a locked room, a case that has brought a new wave of protests against how Indian authorities handle sex crimes.
Pradeep Kumar, a 19-year-old garment factory worker, was arrested in the eastern state of Bihar, about 620 miles from New Delhi, and was being brought to the capital, police said.
Police said questioning of the first man arrested in the case, Manoj Kumar, led them to the second suspect. Manoj Kumar, 24, was arrested on Saturday in Bihar and flown back to New Delhi. Kumar is a common last name in India and the two men are not related.
The men are accused of abducting, raping and attempting to murder the 5-year-old, who went missing April 15 and was found two days later by neighbors who heard her crying in a locked room in the same New Delhi building where she lives with her family. The girl was alone when she was found, having been left for dead by her attackers, police say.
The girl was in critical condition when she was transferred on Thursday from a local hospital to the largest government-run hospital in the country. D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the hospital in New Delhi where the girl was being treated, said Monday that she was responding well and that her condition had stabilized.
“She is much better today and her wounds are healing well,” Sharma said.
The attack occurred four months after the fatal gang rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus sparked outrage across India about the treatment of women in the country.
For the third consecutive day, sporadic protests erupted in New Delhi. Scores of supporters of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party managed to reach the gates of Parliament where they shouted against the police's tardy handling of the case.