Two teens held in India ‘for raping toddler’

Police arrested two teenagers yesterday for allegedly raping a toddler in New Delhi, in the latest incident of sexual violence against a young child in the Indian capital.

Police questioned 250 residents of the western Delhi neighborhood where the two-and-a-half-year-old girl was raped, and left bleeding, in a park Friday evening.

The two 17-year-old boys were arrested late on Saturday, said Dependra Pathak, a top police officer. Pushpendra Kumar, deputy commissioner of police, said the teens admitted their guilt, after interrogation.

The toddler was playing outside her home when she went missing during a 10-minute power outage in the neighborhood. Family members found her lying unconscious and bleeding in the park three hours later.

In a separate incident, police on Saturday arrested three men for raping a five-year-old in an east Delhi suburb. A week earlier, a four-year-old girl was found dumped near a railway track, after being raped, and slashed with a blade, also in the capital.

Delhi residents are accusing the city’s government of failing to protect women and girls. Delhi’s top elected official, Arvind Kejriwal, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying police were failing at their job. Although Kejriwal is the capital’s chief minister, Delhi Police reports to the federal government under Modi.

Kejriwal said that the government and police were not protecting women in the city and that crimes against them were on the rise. He said control of police should be handed over to the state government.

Recent attacks have renewed public fury and horror over India’s inability to halt chronic violence against women and girls. In December 2012, the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student, on a moving bus, led to a national outcry. In response, the government doubled the maximum prison term for rape to 20 years, created special courts to prosecute cases more quickly, and made voyeurism and acid attacks specific crimes. Two thousand girls and women were raped in New Delhi in 2014.


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