India rape victim stable, second suspect arrested

Protesters outside hospital seek death penalty for perpetrator

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New Delhi: A second suspect in the rape of a five-year-old girl in New Delhi has been arrested in Bihar, police said on Monday as the victim recovered in hospital.

The suspect Pradeep was arrested in the Badaiya area of the Lakhi Sarai district. Manoj Kumar, the prime suspect, has been in police custody since his arrest on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the girl who was brutally raped here is in “stable” condition after a surgery, and may not undergo any reconstructive surgery for now, a doctor said.

“Her condition is stable. She is recovering,” D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), told IANS on Sunday.

“There was a fresh medical evaluation of the girl’s condition and she continues to be under observation,” he said.

On whether the girl may need to undergo any reconstructive surgery as she suffered severe injuries to her private parts, Sharma said: “For now, no such surgery will be done on her. May be after couple of months... but we will have to see if there is a need.”

Earlier on Sunday morning, giving details of the girl’s overnight medical condition, Sharma had said that she was stable and “responding well to treatment”.

“Her vital parameters are ok and she faces no threat to her life. She is alert and spoke to her parents and doctors,” said the medical superintendent of AIIMS, adding that she had “mild fever”.

Colostomy surgery

He said the girl, raped by her 22-year-old neighbour, had undergone “colostomy” surgery. This is a procedure to create an alternative route for stool to pass.

Asked if the girl understood what she had undergone, the doctor said that she was perhaps too young to understand what happened.

“I will not say she is scared, perhaps she is too young to understand the gravity of her condition,” he said.

Meanwhile, protests continued on Sunday outside AIIMS, where around 30 people had assembled, demanding justice for the rape victim.

Holding placards, the demonstrators raised slogans like: “Damini ko nyaay do” [give justice to the girl] and “Naari ke samman mei, hum hai maidan mei” [we are in the field to protect the honour of women].

“We are demanding justice not just for this girl but for every other woman. The rapists should be ostracised and then hanged,” said Abdul Hadi, a protester from Aligarh.

Vikas Tyagi, 30, a resident of Delhi, said the death penalty was the only way to stop rapes. “We demand that the culprit be hanged till death. Only then it will establish fear in the hearts of such people,” he said.

Police, government blamed

“Both police and government are equally responsible for the incident. The police is corrupt, insensitive and listen only to their political masters. We seek police reform and action against erring police officials,” said Sunil Kumar Arya, an Aam Aaadmi Party activist.

To enable easy entry and exit for patients and ambulances, police have barricaded the main entrance to AIIMS. On Saturday, many protesters had held protests outside the hospital and blocked movement of ambulances.

The five-year-old victim was transferred to the hospital on Friday evening. She was warded since Wednesday morning at the city’s Swami Dyanand hospital after her family rescued her.

The girl had been abducted, sexually assaulted and tortured in captivity by her neighbour in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar area.

A joint team of Delhi and Bihar Police succeeded in nabbing the accused, Manoj Kumar, from his in-laws’ house in Chitkouna village in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district early on Saturday. He was flown to Delhi in a chartered plane and is being interrogated by police.