Indian girl responds to treatment after rape ordeal

 

The condition of a 5-year-old girl who was allegedly kidnapped, raped and tortured by a man and then left alone in a locked room in India's capital for two days has improved, a doctor said today, as protests continued over the authorities' handling of the case.

The girl was in critical condition when she was transferred on Thursday from a local hospital to the largest government-run hospital in the country. But D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the state-run hospital in New Delhi where the girl was being treated, said today that she was responding well to treatment and that her condition had stabilized.

Police say the girl went missing 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 she lives with her family. The girl was alone when she was found, having been left for dead by the man following the brutal attack, police say.

A 24-year-old man was arrested yesterday in the eastern state of Bihar, about 620 miles from New Delhi, in connection with the incident. After being flown to New Delhi, he was in custody today and was being questioned, police said.

The incident 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 today protested outside police headquarters in the capital, angry over allegations that police had ignored complaints by the girl's parents that she was missing.

About 100 supporters of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party protested outside the home of the chief of the ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, demanding that the government ensure the safety and security of women and girls in the city.

The protesters also demanded that the Delhi police chief be removed from office and that police officials accused of failing to act on the parents' complaint be dismissed.

"Police and other officials that fail to do their jobs and instead engage in abusive behavior should know that they will be punished," Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, said.

Police said they detained more than 50 protesters when they tried to break down barricades on the road leading to Gandhi's house. The protesters were released after a few hours.

Police also placed restrictions on the gathering of more than four people on the main avenue in the heart of New Delhi after university students said they planned to hold a demonstration there later Sunday. Despite the police order, about 100 students gathered at New Delhi's iconic India Gate monument and held a peaceful protest late Sunday.

Sexual crimes against women and children are reported every day in Indian newspapers, and women often complain about their sense of insecurity when they leave their homes.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for changes in attitudes toward women in India, where there has been a fierce debate since December's fatal New Delhi gang rape about the routine mistreatment of females.

"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 today at a meeting with civil servants.

A day earlier, Singh had urged Indian society "to look within and work to root out the evil of rape and other such crimes from our midst."

The fatal beating and gang rape of a young woman aboard a moving New Delhi bus sparked outrage and spurred the government to pass tough laws for crimes against women, including the death penalty for repeat offenders or for rape attacks that lead to the victim's death.

But activists say that merely passing strong laws is not enough, and that the government has to convey its intention to crack down on crimes against women to its officials and the police.

"Enacting strong laws are simply a first step, but it needs the government to focus urgently on implementation if it is serious about protecting children and other victims of sexual abuse," Human Rights Watch's Ganguly said.

AP

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?