KOODAKPRESS

Anguish in New Delhi at Rape of an 8-Month-Old Girl

A rally in Bangalore, India, in November to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Credit

According to koodakpress، 

 An 8-month-old infant girl has been hospitalized in India’s capital after being raped, the police said, a sexual assault that has both sickened and transfixed a city and country grown distressingly accustomed to horrifying sex abuse cases. A relative has been arrested.

As an indication of the widespread attention and concern the case has prompted, one major television station, NDTV, ran regular updates at the bottom of the screen on Tuesday:

“Baby in I.C.U.; Condition stable.”

 

According to police officials, the infant’s parents were working Sunday morning and had asked a cousin to watch their two girls, the 8-month-old and a 2-year-old. The family lives in a poor neighborhood in the northwest corner of New Delhi.

When the baby’s mother, a maid, returned in the afternoon, she found the infant bleeding profusely between her legs. Her father, speaking to television reporters with his face obscured to protect the family’s identity, said the bed the baby had been lying on had been smeared with blood.

The mother asked the cousin what had happened and he could not give her a clear answer.

She then called the police. After questioning, investigators arrested the cousin, a day laborer in his late 20s, who admitted to inserting his finger inside the infant girl’s vagina, police officials said.

Swati Maliwal, the chairwoman of the Delhi Commission for Women, a government body set up to help protect women, quickly took up the case, sending out a blast of Twitter posts.

“What to do? How can Delhi sleep today when 8 month baby has been brutally raped in Capital?” Ms. Maliwal wrote. “Have we become so insensitive or we have simply accepted this as our fate?”

Methods of reporting sex crimes — and the willingness of victims to speak out — vary sharply from country to country. Statistically, India, with a population of 1.3 billion, does not report a higher number of rapes per capita than many other countries, such as the United States.

But in recent years, several disturbing cases have drawn intense attention, in India and around the world.

In 2012, a young woman was gang raped and brutalized on a bus in Delhi, dying 13 days later in the hospital. The gruesome crime deeply shook India and stirred widespread protests.

In another extensively covered case, a 10-year-old girl who was raped by a relative gave birth last year, after India’s Supreme Court refused to allow her to have an abortion.

The girl’s parents said they did not realize that their daughter was pregnant until several months had passed, and the courts ruled both that the fetus was too far along to be aborted and that an abortion could be dangerous to the young mother.

The number of cases of sexual assaults on children in India has been increasing, government data shows, rising 82 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Experts are divided on whether this reflects a true rise in such crimes or an increased incidence of reporting them because of the publicity surrounding a few shocking incidents.

The police officials said on Tuesday that the 8-month-old girl was in a stable condition, following what Ms. Maliwal said was a three-hour operation.

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