World

India protests rape of girl, 5

Garment worker charged in attack after kidnapping

Demonstrators participated in a candlelight vigil Saturday outside the New Delhi police headquarters.
European Pressphoto Agency
Demonstrators participated in a candlelight vigil Saturday outside the New Delhi police headquarters.

NEW DELHI — Hundreds of demonstrators besieged New Delhi’s police headquarters on Saturday to protest the kidnapping, rape, and torture of a 5-year-old girl last week.

The injured girl was moved Friday evening to New Delhi’s finest public hospital on a gurney covered with stuffed toys, and by Saturday she was alert and in stable condition, according to doctors there.

She was being given fluids and intravenous antibiotics to fight a blood infection, the doctors said, and further operations will have to wait until the infection has abated.

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Meanwhile, police arrested a 22-year-old garment worker early Saturday morning in Bihar, said Rajan Bhagat, a Delhi police spokesman.

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The police identified the suspect as Manoj, who, like many Indians, uses only one name. He had recently married and was tracked down with the help of cellphone records in the town where his in-laws live, according to Indian news reports.

The suspect had an apartment in New Delhi in the same building as the girl, whom he is accused of abducting, raping, and torturing last Sunday night.

The Times of India reported that he told police he fled his apartment shortly thereafter because he believed that the girl had died. The girl’s parents found her on Wednesday in the man’s apartment.

‘‘This is the first time I have seen such barbarism,’’ R.K. Bansal, medical superintendent of Swami Dayanand Hospital, said Friday in a televised interview. ‘‘There were injuries on her lips, cheeks, arms, and anus area. Her neck had bruise marks suggesting that attempts were made to strangle her.’’ She also suffered severe internal injuries.

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In December, a woman was gang-raped and tortured and her companion beaten in a case that shocked the nation and led to weeks of spontaneous protests by Indians demanding better security for women.

That case led to changes in the country’s rape laws, but horrific sexual assaults continue to be reported around India with regularity.