The brutal rape of a five year-old girl in New Delhi has sparked a new wave of protests across the nation and caused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to call for changes in attitudes toward women in India.
Fox News is reporting that two suspects have now been arrested in the case involving a five year old who was abducted and repeatedly raped, then left for dead by her attackers. Police say the child disappeared on April 15 after leaving her East Delhi home to play outside. She 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.
Doctors were shocked at the condition of the girl, saying they found a glass bottle and pieces of a candle in her private parts.
“This is the first time I have seen such barbarism,” R.K. Bansal, the medical superintendent of Swami Dayanand Hospital, said in a televised interview. “There were injuries on her lips, cheeks, arms and anus area; her neck had bruise marks suggesting that attempts were made to strangle her.”
Thus far, Manoj Kumar, 24, and Pradeep Kumar, 19, (the two are not related), have been arrested in connection with the assault.
The hideous nature of the crime has enraged the population who claim that Indian authorities are too apathetic in their handling of the rampant sex crimes against women that occur in that country every day.
Similar protests broke out four months ago after a fatal gang rape of a 23 year-old woman on a New Delhi bus.
Since that time, the country enacted new sexual assault laws that could result in the death sentence for assailants who kill their victims. It includes jail terms for police officers who refuse to register rape cases, which was quite common before the law was enacted.
For instance, in the case of the five year-old girl, it is alleged that police did nothing to find the girl after her parents reported her missing.
“The police must be held accountable for their shocking levels of apathy. They urgently need to review police processes to ensure that all cases of rape and sexual violence — not just those highlighted by the media — are fully and promptly investigated,” said G. Ananthapadmanabhan, who heads the India chapter of the human rights group Amnesty International. “Those who fail to do their job must be held accountable.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh responded to the crime by calling for changes in attitudes toward women in India.
“The gruesome assault on the little girl a few days back reminds us once again of the need to work collectively to root out this sort of depravity from our society,” Singh said at a meeting Sunday with civil servants.
Catholic physician Pascoal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, called the unspeakable violence unleashed on the little girl to be “India’s shame.”
He went on to denounce the indifference of police to crimes against women as being “most shameful.”
Violence is done against “Indian girls and women in insidious as well as blatant ways, in every sphere of their life,” he told AsiaNews.
“The systematic and escalating elimination of women in India through female foeticide, female infanticide, dowry murders, sexual assault, high mortality rates of girls under five due to deliberate neglect, and the highest maternal mortality rate in the world are contributing factors to the low status of women in India, resulting in lack of respect and escalating violence, discrimination, brutalization and annihilation.”
The little girl’s condition is said to be improving.
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