In a grim reminder of the two-year-old baby who was badly beaten up and is still in the trauma centre at AIIMS, a six-year-old girl with several burn marks all over the body —probably made with a burning cigarette — and head smashed with stone is battling for life at Delhi government-run Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital in west Delhi.
Delhi police, who are already in the dock for reacting late in a brawl case outside Surya hotel in south Delhi, once again delayed taking action. They charged the rape accused in this case only on Monday, two days after the incident, but he is yet to be arrested.
The girl's uncle said, "She went missing on Friday night (February 24) and we immediately reported the matter to the police. She was found the next day around 1km from her house near a temple.”
"But despite her telling the police that she was raped, they just registered a case of abduction," the uncle added.
The girl lives with her family in a slum cluster around Kirti Nagar and the accused is a married man who lives in the same neighbourhood.
"At 8pm on Friday, her mother sent her to buy candles after a power cut. But she never returned. We started looking for her and then filed a police complaint. The next day around 4pm, a person came to us saying he found our girl in Shani Mandir area," the uncle said.
Pooja, one of the neighbours, said a few days ago the girl's mother had seen the accused neighbour sneaking into their bathroom through the window. She had raised an alarm. "He probably kidnapped and raped the girl as revenge," the neighbour added.
The accused lives with his wife and brother in the same lane as the girl and had shifted to the slum about six months ago. The girl's parents have been living there for 10 years.
Maneesh Joshi, the man who saw the girl and informed the police, said, "She was bleeding and had injury marks on her body. I found out her house and then we called the police."
Local residents alleged that there have been incidents of sexual assault earlier too but the police have done little to nab the culprits. Meanwhile, the girl is undergoing treatment at DDU hospital. "Her injuries are severe and we are closely monitoring her. A CT-scan of her head was done in the afternoon. She is stable," said a doctor.