Indian police arrest second suspect in rape of 5-year-old

Updated 6:47 AM EDT, Tue April 23, 2013
01:42 - Source: CNN
Second arrest over child rape

Story highlights

Allegations police tried to bribe the girl's family to keep quiet are being investigated

The second suspect is alleged to be an accomplice in the attack, police said

The attack has prompted protests in the streets of New Delhi

More than 7,000 child rape cases were reported in India in 2011

(CNN) —  

Indian police have arrested a second man in connection with the rape of a 5-year-old girl in New Delhi, a police spokesman said Monday.

The second suspect is accused of being an accomplice in the case, which has prompted protests in the streets of New Delhi.

He is being transferred to New Delhi from Bihar state in eastern India for questioning and DNA tests, said Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat.

Police say the first suspect arrested in the case, Manoj Kumar, told them about the alleged accomplice during questioning.

Kumar, the girl’s neighbor, is accused of abducting her on April 14, locking her in his home and raping her repeatedly. She was found semiconscious three days later.

Doctors said they had to remove objects, including candle pieces and a small bottle, from the girl’s genitals. Her condition has since stabilized.

Alleged rape of 5-year-old spurs protests

The situation has taken on another sordid aspect after the girl’s family said that police officers had tried to bribe them to keep quiet about the case.

Senior police officials have ordered a separate investigation into those allegations.

The assault on the 5-year-old came just four months after a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was gang-raped in a bus in New Delhi, setting off furious protests in India. She later died at a Singapore hospital.

That attack raised a lot of questions about the treatment of women in India, with the country’s news media suddenly turning their attention to some of the thousands of rape cases reported in the nation each year.

The case of the 5-year-old has now drawn attention to violent crimes against children, particularly girls.

In a recent report, the Asian Center For Human Rights cited statistics it said showed 48,338 child rape cases were reported in India between 2001 and 2011. The report said the number of cases had risen from 2,113 cases in 2001 to 7,112 in 2011.

The 5-year-old girl’s case sparked protests in New Delhi last week. Many demonstrators are members of a political party of the leading anti-corruption activist, Arvind Kejriwal.

Criticized for what was seen as his late response to the December gang-rape, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promptly issue a statement this time, calling the act “shameful.”