The brutal rape of a five-year-old girl has sparked fresh outrage and shock in India, sentiments that citizens have become all too familiar with following a horrifying trend of violence against women.
Protests erupted in New Delhi despite the arrest of Manoj Kumar, 22, the man accused of the rape and torture of the five-year-old girl.
The young girl was brought to the hospital in a serious condition after she was found abandoned in a locked room where Kumar allegedly raped and tortured her for two days before leaving her for dead. Her condition improved on Sunday, according to doctors, after she underwent surgery for severe internal injuries suffered during the assault.
The girl’s parents – poor migrant construction workers – reported early last week their daughter was missing but reportedly claimed the police refused to investigate and attempted to pay them off to hush up the incident after their daughter was discovered by neighbors in the room on the same tenement as her family’s.
The assault comes just four months after the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student on a New Delhi bus triggered mass protests over the treatment of women in the country, and prompted the Congress-led government to tighten its belt on rape, according to The Associated Press.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for changes in deep-seated prejudice against women in India.
“The gruesome assault on the little girl… reminds us once again of the need to work collectively to root out this sort of depravity from our society,” Singh said Sunday.