A 5-year-old girl in India is in serious condition Saturday after being raped and tortured by a neighbor for two days, authorities said.
The girl was taken by a man who lived in the same apartment building as her family in New Delhi. Delhi police official Deepak Mishra said the girl went missing on Monday and was found Wednesday, after neighbors reported hearing crying from a nearby room.
She was locked in a room and presumably left for dead, Mishra said. The girl was semi-conscious when found. She had bruises and bitemarks on her body as well as internal injuries. She was taken to a governmental-run hospital in New Delhi where medical superintendent D.K. Sharma described her condition as “serious.”
Police arrested the 24-year-old man who lived in the room where she was found on Saturday in Muzaffapur, over 600 miles east of New Delhi, according to Mishra. The man was flown back to New Delhi and is detained in police custody.
The crime sparked protest in the Indian capital on Friday, organized by the political party Aam Aadmi, which was launched in 2012 by anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal.
After the December gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was pressured into creating stricter laws on gender crimes. Protests on Friday said the measure was not enough and that enforcement within the community was vital to stemming sexual assault and rape.
Protesters demanded the police officers be arrested for not registering the girl sooner. Her parents, who work as laborers on the outskirts of New Delhi, attempted to register a complaint on Monday, when the girl went missing. Activists and officials said the police refused to register a case.
"The police did nothing. They did not register a complaint, the first step before they can begin investigations," said women’s rights activist and social scientist Ranjana Kumari. "This heinous crime could have been prevented if police had begun investigations promptly."
A statement from P.M. Singh’s office on Friday he stated he was deeply disturbed by the incident. He called the behavior of the police "completely unacceptable." He expressed "the need for the strictest possible action to be taken against the erring officials” to Delhi authorities.