Details of 5-yr-old’s savage rape spark outrage,PM says ‘deeply disturbed’

Police accused of having treated the case in a very callous manner.

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Published: April 19, 2013 9:27 pm

A day after a five-year-old girl,who had been held captive for more than 48 hours and repeatedly raped,was found in a room of the building she lived in an East Delhi colony,doctors gave shocking details of the manner in which she had been brutalised. Doctors who examined her said they removed candle pieces and a 200 ml plastic bottle of hair oil from her body. Bite marks were visible and she had been slashed with a blade,doctors said,adding that the girl had severe infection and her condition was serious.

As word spread,outrage mounted. The child’s family alleged that the police took their time in registering an FIR and,after she was found,tried to bribe them with Rs 2000 to “remain silent”. Noisy protests were held outside Swami Dayanand Hospital where the child was being treated. Later in the day,she was shifted to AIIMS.

Delhi Health Minister Dr A K Walia and East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit were heckled by protesters,mostly from the Aam Aadmi Party. A girl who was protesting slapped Walia and she in turn was slapped by Assistant Commissioner of Police B S Ahlawat.

As the Home Ministry sought a report from the police,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was “deeply disturbed” after he heard of the “shameful incident” of the child being sexually abused. He said he had seen news visuals of the “completely unacceptable treatment meted out by police officers” to some women protesting against this incident.

In a statement,the Prime Minister said he had spoken to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and had asked him to take the “strictest possible action” against the erring officials and provide appropriate medical care to the child.

Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said ACP Ahlawat had been suspended along with the SHO of the area police station and the investigating officer in the case.

Police identified the child’s tormentor as 24-year-old Manoj who,like the child and her family,lived as a tenant in the same building — she was recovered from his locked room on the ground floor after neighbours heard her cries and broke open the door. The child lived on the first floor.

Manoj is said to be on the run but police hope to nab him soon because they have a fair idea where he is headed. He had taken the room on rent for Rs 400 a month earlier this month. His father,who is a fruit vendor in an adjoining colony,is being questioned.

Asked why did the police not look for the child in the building,Neeraj Kumar said: “It was locked. Only when the child was heard wailing was the incident noticed. Nobody tried to break the lock. The family did not express suspicion about the accused.”

Daughter of a daily wage labourer,the child went missing on April 15. Her mother told The Indian Express: “She had gone out to play. When she did not return after an hour,I went down to look for her. When I did not find her anywhere,I called my husband.”

The family claimed they went to the police station to lodge a report around 6 pm,but were made to wait for hours. “The police kept saying we should wait,and she would turn up. They refused to take the matter seriously. I begged and cried,telling them that my child had disappeared.” An FIR was finally filed past midnight,the family said.

The child was discovered two days later when neighbours alerted her mother about wails from the ground floor room.

Dr R K Bansal,medical superintendent of Swami Dayanand Hospital where the child was first treated,said: “She was brought to us in a critical state on Wednesday afternoon,with severe bleeding. We did all basic examination and a pelvic ultrasound indicated the possibility of foreign objects… we operated on her on Thursday. The injuries are shockingly grievous,considering her age.”

He said three candle pieces and a 200 ml plastic bottle of hair oil were recovered during the procedure. “I have never seen such brutality on a child,” he said. “It looked like the assailant tried to strangle her. There were some blade slashes around her neck,and bite marks were seen on her face and chest.”

After the child was shifted to AIIMS,Dr Y K Gupta,spokesperson for the institute,said: “We have done a preliminary examination which shows grave perineal injuries. Her general condition is stable. A detailed examination under general anaesthesia will be performed later tonight.”

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