Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Second arrest over rape of girl

Women activists of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party protest against the rape of a five-year-old girl in New Delhi, India (AP)

A second suspect has been arrested over the rape of a five-year-old girl who New Delhi police say was left for dead in a locked room.

The case has brought a new wave of protests against how Indian authorities handle sex crimes.

Pradeep Kumar was arrested in the eastern state of Bihar, about 620 miles (1,000km) from New Delhi, and was being taken to the capital, police said.

Officers said questioning of the first man arrested in the case, Manoj Kumar, led them to the second suspect. Manoj Kumar, 24, was arrested in Bihar on Saturday and has since been 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 five-year-old, who went missing on April 15 and was found two days later by neighbours who heard her crying in a locked room in the same New Delhi building where her family live.

The girl was alone when she was found, having been left for dead by her attackers, police say. She was in a critical condition when she was transferred from a local hospital to the largest government-run hospital in the country on Thursday.

DK Sharma, medical superintendent of the state-run hospital in New Delhi where the girl was being treated, said that she was responding well to treatment and that her condition had stabilised.

"She is much better today and her wounds are healing well," he told reporters.

The attack came 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 second consecutive day, hundreds of people protested outside police headquarters in the capital on Sunday, angry over allegations that police failed to act after the girl's parents told them she was missing.

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