Two men arrested in connection with rape of child in India

Monday 22 April 2013 20.14
The five-year-old girl's name has not been revealed, but media have nicknamed her "Gudiya", or doll
The five-year-old girl's name has not been revealed, but media have nicknamed her "Gudiya", or doll

Indian police arrested a second man in connection with the rape and torture of a five-year-old girl in New Delhi.

Neighbours say the child was abducted on Monday last week in an alley outside her home and kept captive by two men in the basement of the same building.

They say they found her two days later after hearing her cries.

A video showing a senior police officer slapping a young woman protester has fuelled outrage.

So has an allegation by the family that the officers offered them a 2,000 rupee (€28) bribe to hush up the case - delaying the search for the girl by several hours.

In his first news conference about the rape, Delhi police chief Neeraj Kumar resisted growing demands for his resignation.

He said he had suspended the policeman caught on camera, along with two senior officers at the police station in question.

He also offered to take the entire staff of the police station to the hospital for an ID parade in relation to the bribe allegations.

He defended his record, saying rape was hard to prevent because it was commonly committed by family members.

"Is it humanly possible for a policeman to prevent a case like this in which a neighbour lures a girl who is playing to his room and commits a crime?" he said. "Is it possible to prevent it?"

The five-year-old girl's name has not been revealed, but media have nicknamed her "Gudiya", or doll.

She has undergone surgery and was in a stable condition, a doctor at the hospital where she is being treated told reporters.

The public anger echoes the response to the gang rape of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist on a bus on 16 December.

A man was arrested on Saturday for the attack on the five-year-old and is due to appear in a Delhi court this week.

The second suspect, aged 19, was arrested at 1am on Monday at a relative's house in the eastern state of Bihar, police said.

Media reported several other attacks on children over the weekend, including that of a nine-year old girl in the north-eastern state of Assam, who had her throat slit after being gang-raped, TV channels said.

Brutal sex crimes are common in India, which has a population of 1.2 billion.

New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures.

One in three rape victims in India are children, according to UNICEF.

Child sex abuse was only outlawed last year under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.