As the five-year-old rape victim continued to make slow but steady progress on her long road to recovery on Sunday, there were reports of three more minor girls being raped.
A 15-year-old was abducted by two men, forced to drink four bottles of beer, stripped at knife-point and raped in a field in northwest Delhi’s Samaipur Badli on Friday. An 11-year-old was abducted by a rickshaw puller and sexually assaulted in northwest Delhi’s Bhalaswa Dairy. And the prolonged abuse of a Class 10 student by a driver known to her was reported from southeast Delhi’s Sangam Vihar.
The city continued to be on edge with protests at India Gate and outside Delhi Police Headquarters and the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
With most of the public anger directed at them, policemen were seen distributing pamphlets outside the HQ, promising a swift enquiry into charges that some of their men had offered the five-year-old’s family hush money.
“The matter will be taken to a fast-track court so we can have a quick decision and punish the culprit,” the pamphlet read. It pointed out that three officers had already been suspended — an ACP for slapping a woman protester and two from the Gandhi Nagar police station for being lax in helping the victim’s family.
Manoj Kumar, 22, accused of raping the girl, was remanded in judicial custody for a fortnight as police teams scoured Bihar to trace his alleged accomplice, Pradeep, whom he had named during interrogation. Kumar's statements vary, police said, adding that he sometimes says it was Pradeep who raped the girl and sometimes admits to raping her himself.
The investigators denied media reports that Kumar was wanted in his home state for the rape-murder of his sister-in-law or that he had been forced to marry his wife as punishment for sexually assaulting her. They also said they had found pornographic content on his mobile phone.
People continued to demand the sacking of police chief Neeraj Kumar, whose effigy was burnt outside AIIMS, where the girl is being treated.
"Traffic was affected at ITO and India Gate and we had to detain 100-200 people at different locations," a police officer said.