5-year-old girl dies after being raped in central India
Warning: This story contains disturbing details
A 5-year-old girl has died after being raped in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, an official said Tuesday.
This attack is separate from the case of a five-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and tortured by two men who then abandoned her in a locked room in New Delhi earlier this month. That girl is still recovering at a hospital in the city.
The girl in central India suffered cardiac arrest and died late Monday at a hospital in Nagpur city in neighbouring Maharashtra state where she was being treated for injuries from the April 18 assault, said Bharat Yadav, collector for Seoni district, where the attack occurred.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack, he said.
The girl was lured by one of the men to a farm, where she was then raped by the other man, who was a friend of her parents, Yadav said. The parents, poor construction workers, were at work when the attack occurred, he said.
Ravi Manadiar, an administrator at the hospital, said the girl suffered a brain injury when the men tried to smother her cries and was in a coma from April 20 until she died.
In Nagpur, the mother of the girl was inconsolable.
"The court should give them the strictest punishment ever," she sobbed Tuesday.
"These men should be burned alive so that the whole world will see how such criminals ought to be punished," she said, wiping her tears with the corner of her sari.
About 40 supporters of the opposition Congress party held a rally in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, to protest what they said was a rise in violence against women in the state.
They burned an effigy of the state's top elected official, Chief Minister Shivraj SIngh Chouhan, who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
India has seen a recent sharp rise in the numbers of rapes and sexual crimes against women and children. Officials say the spike has resulted from more people reporting the crimes.
In the New Delhi attack, police refused to register a case when the girl's parents reported that their daughter was missing. Hundreds of people protested outside police headquarters in New Delhi for three days, angry over allegations of police inaction and indifference to the parents' complaints.
The attacks on the young girls come 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. The December attack spurred the government to pass tough laws for crimes against women, including the death penalty for repeat offenders.