Gang rape of young girls shocks India | News | DW | 17.10.2015
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Gang rape of young girls shocks India

Police in New Delhi are investigating separate cases of gang rape against two young girls. The attacks come just a week after the brutal sexual assault on a 4-year-old.

The youngest child was abducted from a religious event in the Indian capital, New Delhi, late on Friday by two men on a motorcycle, police said.

She was sexually assaulted before being dumped in a park near her home in west Delhi's Nangloi area. The Times of India reported that she was found unconscious by neighbors.

Tests suggested that she had been raped at least once. Police have launched a manhunt for the suspects.

In another incident, a 5-year-old girl was gang-raped by three men in the city's eastern Anand Vihar area. Authorities said that she had been lured to a neighbor's house and that local residents had caught the alleged perpetrators before calling the police.

The men were arrested, and tests later confirmed that the girl had been subjected to multiple assaults.

Both girls were undergoing medical treatment on Saturday, but were believed to be out of danger.

Residents outraged

The incidents follow a similar attack last week on a 4-year-old girl, who was slashed with a blade before being abandoned by a railway track.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested over that attack, in which the young girl suffered severe internal injuries.

The attacks were quickly condemned by Indian politicians. Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kerjriwal tweeted that the repeated rape of minors was "shameful and worrying."

Delhi Commission for Women chairwoman Swati Maliwal also tweeted her disgust, adding that sexual assaults in the capital had reached "epidemic proportions."

She quoted figures showing that there had been just nine convictions in 2014 despite more than 11,000 police reports of crimes against women in the Indian capital.

Frightening levels of violence against women have sparked outrage in recent years.

In 2012, the fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in Delhi led to nationwide protests and a change in the law, which included a new fast-track court system to prosecute rape cases.

The men who carried out the rapes eventually received death sentences, but the Supreme Court is yet to rule on their appeal.

nm/rc (AFP, Times of India, PTI)