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Rape victim, 5, improves in India

NEW DELHI — The condition of a 5-year-old girl who was 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 Sunday, as protests continued over the authorities’ handling of the case.

The girl was in critical condition when she was transferred Thursday from a local hospital to the largest government-run hospital in the country.

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

Police say the girl disappeared April 15 and was found two days later by neighbors 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 Saturday in the eastern state of Bihar, about 600 miles from New Delhi, in connection with the incident. After being flown to New Delhi, he was in custody Sunday and was being questioned, police said.

The incident occurred 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 Sunday 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 Sunday.

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.

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