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An 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a temple priest in Bangalore on Tuesday, less than a month after a seven-year-old was raped in a city school, sparking widespread protests in the southern city.
Police say the 53-year-old priest, a friend of the victim's family, has been arrested. On Tuesday night, he forced himself upon the girl at her home when her parents were away. Hearing the victim's screams, her two sisters – also minors – ran in from another room, forcing the priest to flee. Later, the parents filed a case with the local police.
In another incident that came to light on Wednesday, a 26-year-old carpenter has reportedly confessed to police that he raped a seven-year-old girl. Results of the victim's medical tests will reveal when the incident took place, police officials said. The carpenter's mother worked as a domestic help at the girl's residence. His family, however, says police tortured him to get the confession.
Anger against sexual violence has been rising in the country since December 16, 2012, when a 23-year-old medical student was brutally gang-raped, and killed, by six men inside a private bus in south Delhi.
Activists say that a rape takes place every 25 minutes in India, but only 10% of sexual violence cases are actually reported to police.
The mounting numbers and growing public outrage forced the central government to amend the existing law, doubling prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalising voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. The law, passed by Parliament in March 2013, also makes it a crime for police officers to refuse to open cases when complaints are made.
Despite this, instances of sexual violence against women continue unabated, though police ascribe this to more people coming forward to report cases.
In one of the more recent incidents, two teenage Dalit girls were raped in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun district and then hanged from a tree in May. Last month, a 22-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped, forced to drink acid and later strangled to death in another part of UP.
Schoolgirl's rape: Kin of accused allege torture
A day after city police admitted to have arrested the wrong man in connection with the July 3 rape of a minor, relatives of another person arrested claimed that investigators made him confess with third-degree torture. The family also alleged that police illegally detained the man for 13 days before announcing his arrest on Tuesday.
The incident at Vibgyor High School had sparked sweeping protests in the city and nationwide outrage. Angry parents had pulled down the school's gates, forcing it to stay shut for several days.
On July 29, police commissioner MN Reddi had revealed that the institute's skating coach, taken into custody earlier, was innocent and two gym instructors had been arrested for the crime.
On Wednesday, the family of one of the instructors claimed that he had been first detained by police on July 14. He was let off eight days later, only to be picked up again on July 25.
"When he came home on July 22, he could barely walk. His soles had blood clots and blisters. He had bruises all over his arms and could not clench his fists. He told me that the police had given him electric shocks and hit him with batons," the man's sister-in-law told HT.
Rejecting the allegations, additional commissioner of police Alok Kumar said, "As far as I know, no third-degree methods were used."