The man accused of brutally raping his five-year-old neighbour in east Delhi was arrested from Bihar and brought back to the Capital on Saturday, a day that saw a rerun of the massive public protests that had followed the December 16 gang rape.
Acting in tandem with their Bihar counterparts, the Delhi Police traced Manoj Kumar, 22, to his in-laws’ house in Chiknauta village, Muzaffarpur district, on Friday night. He was flown back to Delhi the next evening on a three-day transit remand.
Kumar had boarded the Swatantrata Senani Express Monday night within hours of the crime. The girl had gone missing earlier that evening and was found in his locked room on Wednesday. She had been raped — with foreign objects forced inside her body — battered and left to starve.
Police said Kumar had fled thinking the girl was already dead. Investigators suspect the involvement of a second person.
Doctors at AIIMS said the girl was stable and responding to treatment. She was out of danger, conscious and alert.
With another brutal rape in the city just four months after 16/12, Aam Aadmi Party activists parked themselves outside AIIMS, demanding punishment for the rapist and action against the Gandhi Nagar police who allegedly offered the girl’s parents R2,000 to keep the matter quiet.
In central Delhi’s ITO, women and student activists clashed with cops in front of the police HQ, closing off the main roads to traffic.
"We demand justice for the victim and punishment for the negligent, corrupt and high-handed police officers," said Kavita Krishnan, a leading voice in the December 16 case.
A group of 100-odd protesters marched to home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's residence demanding police chief Neeraj Kumar be sacked. Prohibitory orders were imposed in the India Gate area ahead of a proposed candlelight march.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited the girl at AIIMS and, in a stern message to the authorities, said "action and not words" were required to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. The BJP's Sushma Swaraj demanded the new rape law be further toughened to give the death penalty to those who rape children and commit heinous and brutal crimes.