New Delhi: For the fourth day in a row, there were street protests in Delhi against the rape of a five-year-old who was kidnapped and tortured by a man who rented a small room in the same building where she lived with her family.
The child is recovering at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The demonstrations today at AIIMS and the Police Headquarters were fronted largely by the opposition BJP and the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party founded by Arvind Kejriwal. Women's groups organised a protest at Jantar Mantar; some demonstrators tried to force their way past the barricades there. They wanted to march to Parliament, where there was an uproar over the crime and law-makers debated the recent slew of sexual attacks against women and young girls.
Three Metro stations - Race Course Road, Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhavan - were shut down to prevent large groups from gathering near the Prime Minister's residence. (Read)
Since December, when a student was fatally gang-raped on a moving bus in the capital, the safety of women has been brutally placed on the national political agenda a year before elections. (Read: Foreign media on sexual assault of children in India)
Acknowledging the anger expressed by many online and in streets, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday that it is imperative for the police to show "concern and sensitivity while dealing with public anxiety that such incidents generate."
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in a statement to Parliament has said that an enquiry has been ordered to determine if police officials initially refused to help search for the five-year-old, and then offered a bribe to her parents to buy their silence when she was found three days after she was kidnapped.
Two men who belong to Bihar have been arrested for the savage assault.