The child was kidnapped while sleeping on a pavement next to her mother on Monday night. The next morning, she was found by students near their school, burning with fever and covered with ants.
The girl's mother is pregnant. The police have so far been working on the premise that a group of men who had sexually harassed her recently attacked her daughter. They have questioned 12 people about the abduction and rape.
The child has fought for her life for the last two days, and is now stable, doctors said. The unimaginable horrors of her attack include severe internal injuries from a blunt object, they said.
Since December's fatal gang-rape of a young woman on a bus in Delhi, the lack of safety for women across the country has topped national discourse, and elicited international attention.