India: Suspect held over rape of girl, 5

2013-04-20 08:01
Indian students take part in a protest rally in New Delhi. (File, AFP)

Indian students take part in a protest rally in New Delhi. (File, AFP)

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Patna - Indian police said they had on Saturday arrested the suspected rapist of a 5-year-old girl who is battling for her life in hospital after a horrific attack in New Delhi.

The 25-year-old suspect, identified as Manoj Kumar, was held in the eastern Indian state of Bihar after he took shelter in his father-in-law's home in a village 70km from local capital Patna, an official said.

Police say Kumar allegedly attacked his victim inside a locked room over a 48-hour period after abducting her on Monday in a lower-middle class area of Indian capital New Delhi.

"It is an act of a monster," Additional Director-general of Police Ravindar Kumar said in Patna hours after the suspect was detained by a joint team of detectives from New Delhi and Bihar.

The officer said the suspect reached Chiknouta village on Friday after fleeing New Delhi by train and added the man would be sent back to face trial in the national capital.

"He should be punished as early as possible," Kumar said.

The child, found after a passerby heard her cries and alerted the police, was admitted in a New Delhi hospital on Wednesday and doctors on Friday described her condition was "critical".

Medics said the girl was mutilated during the attack, suffering serious internal injuries and infection during the brutal attack. She also has multiple other injuries.

The incident comes just months after India was shaken by the horrific gang-rape of a student in Delhi on a bus last December that sparked countrywide demonstrations and debate over the status of women and girls and their safety.

The 23-year-old gang rape victim succumbed to her injuries 13 days after the assault in which her attackers drove an iron rod inside her, damaging her internal organs.

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