The father of a five-year-old girl who was held captive and raped allegedly by her neighbour in the national capital, has alleged that the police had offered him Rs 2,000 "to keep quiet", and advised him to "thank god that your daughter is alive".
"We went to the police to register an FIR (First Information Report) but they refused. They did not try to find her, and instead drove us away," the father of the child told reporters outside the Swami Dayananda Hospital in east Delhi's Shahdara, where the girl is battling for her life.
The father said that when the family finally found the girl on Wednesday, more than two days after she went missing, the police told the family to not highlight the issue, and offered them a bribe. "The police told us that we should not highlight the issue in the media and gave us Rs.2,000 as kharcha-pani (for expenses and refreshment)," said the father.
"The police told us to take our daughter home and pray for her recovery," a relative added.
The Delhi Police has now suspended two officers for "misbehaving" with the child's parents.
The little girl was abducted on Monday allegedly by their neighbour, who kept her hostage in his apartment without food or water. The suspect is said to be in his 30s. He lived on the ground floor of the building in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar where the child's family live, the police said.
The child was discovered when members of her family heard her screaming on Wednesday evening.
The police has denied that they tried to hush up the case. They said they began searching for the child as soon as her parents complained that she was missing. A senior officer said they combed the locality and even public parks, but not the neighbour's house because the child's mother said she could not think of any suspects that might have kidnapped her daughter.