New Delhi reels after rapes of minor girls aged two and five
New Delhi, October 17
A toddler and a five-year-old girl were raped in separate attacks in New Delhi overnight with at least one gang-raped, police said today, as activists warned of an “epidemic” of sexual violence in the capital.
The two-and-a-half-year-old girl was abducted from a religious event in west Delhi by two men yesterday night and raped before being dumped in a park near her home, relatives and police said.
In a separate incident on the other side of the city, the five-year-old was lured to a neighbour’s house and raped by three men, a police officer told AFP.
The two attacks come as New Delhi grapples with a grim litany of sexual assaults against women — and in several recent cases, children — that have sparked outrage in India and abroad.
“We have launched a manhunt for the suspects. So far no one has been arrested,” Pushpendra Kumar, west Delhi police chief, told AFP of the younger girl’s case.
“Two men were involved in the abduction of the girl and the tests have confirmed rape,” Kumar said, adding that further examinations would show whether both men raped the toddler. He said they found the younger child bleeding profusely several hours after she went missing.
Authorities have released CCTV footage of two men riding away on a motorbike with the victim in an attempt to catch the alleged perpetrators.
Separately, police in eastern Delhi arrested three men overnight in the case of the five-year-old victim, whom tests showed was raped multiple times, after locals managed to catch her alleged assailants.
“Her clothes were partially torn with blood spots all over them. Some locals saw her and she told them she was sexually assaulted,” an officer from Anand Vihar police station in eastern Delhi told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“Some of the locals then barged into the house and caught them (the alleged perpetrators) before handing them over to us,” the officer said. Both girls are undergoing medical treatment but are believed to be out of danger.
An agitated crowd gathered near the toddler’s home today afternoon attempting to block traffic and lambasting the police’s failure to arrest the accused in that case, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
“Theyare not doing anything to arrest the rapists. We don’t feel safe in this city and there will be a day when parents will stop giving birth to girls fearing they will be raped,” a female relative of the girl told reporters without giving her name.
The latest attacks come eight days after a four-year-old girl was allegedly raped and slashed with a blade before being abandoned by a railway track in the capital.
Police arrested a 25-year-old man in that attack, in which the young girl suffered severe internal injuries.
“When will Delhi wake up? Till when will girls continue to be brutalised in Indian capital. Gangrape of 2.5 year n 5 year old. Shameful,” Delhi Commission for Women chairwoman Swati Maliwal tweeted.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed anguish over the rapes, terming them “shameful and worrying” on Twitter, but blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for the security situation in Delhi.
“Repeated rape of minors is shameful and worrying. Delhi police has completely failed to provide safety.
What are Prime Minister n his LG (lieutenant governor) doing?,” Kejriwal tweeted before heading to meet the victims in hospital.