Rape of 5-Year-Old Girl Brings New Protests in India

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Indian police forces are under attack once again after news of another horrific rape crime against a victim who was just five years old. Two men were arrested over the weekend after neighbors found the girl alone in a locked room in the same building where her family lived. Police say the girl was abducted, then beaten and raped for nearly two days before being left for dead. She remains in the hospital in serious condition—alongside another five-year-old in next room who was also reportedly a victim of rape.

The attack sparked a new wave of protest marches against the ruling government and New Dehli police officials, less than four months after a horrifying gang rape and murder made global headlines and shined a spotlight on the rape and abuse against women across the nation—and the official reaction to it. Police departments have come under special condemnation for not taking rape accusations seriously and failing to punish those responsible. In this latest incident, the parents of the young girl accuse the police of failing to act after she was first reported missing and there are reports that the police tried to bribe the family to stay quiet about the case. 

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Activists plan more protests for today, after more than 100 members of the main opposition party gathered outside the home of Sonia Gandhi on Sunday, who is head of the ruling Congress Party. They also demanded the firing of Delhi's police chief, who defended his department and said that quitting "is not going to solve the problem." It didn't help matters on Monday when a top government minister pointed out in Parliament that rape happens all over the country, not just in Dehli, which some saw as an attempt to downplay the severity of the crime.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.