Delhi: Toddler raped by neighbour, had just learnt to walk
The girl lives with her parents and an eight-month-old sister in Gandhi Nagar. Her father runs a tea stall, while her mother works as a tailor.
A 21-month-old child was kidnapped and raped allegedly by her neighbour in Gandhi Nagar in east Delhi on Sunday. The toddler was found bleeding and admitted to Lok Nayak Hospital with severe injuries. She underwent a surgery on Monday and is expected to remain hospitalised for another 10 days.
The girl lives with her parents and an eight-month-old sister in Gandhi Nagar. Her father runs a tea stall, while her mother works as a tailor. When the mother is away at work, the girl is usually left under the protection of her father, whose stall is located close to their home.
“My daughter was slow to learn walking. She had begun walking just about three months ago. To encourage her, I allowed her to run around my stall without much restriction. But now I am not sure if I will ever let my daughters away from sight,” her father told HT on Tuesday.
On Sunday evening, the girl’s father had left the stall for a few minutes when their neighbour, Hari Ram Yadav, allegedly picked up the child on the pretext of playing with her. Yadav, a tailor, was a regular customer at the tea stall.
Yadav allegedly dropped the crying child outside her home around 20 minutes later. “I had heard a child crying in my building. But I never thought a child was being raped here,” said a woman living in the building where the crime happened.
When the mother saw the child crying, she checked on her to find her bleeding. The woman immediately called her husband, who understood the situation. “Our land owner had seen Yadav pick and drop my daughter. So, I immediately searched for Yadav and restrained him in his room,” said the girl’s father.
While neighbours called the police, the girl was rushed to the Chacha Nehru children’s hospital nearby, which referred her to Lok Nayak Hospital because of the seriousness of the injury. The girl needed to be operated upon before her condition stabilised.
“She will recover from the injury, but she is no more the playful and happy child she was. She keeps crying and doesn’t talk to me,” said her mother. The accused, meanwhile, has been arrested and booked for rape and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), said a senior police officer, adding that his role in the crime has been established.
The child’s parents said they first thought of concealing the crime from people in the neighbourhood. “We have already suffered. We decided to let people in our neighbourhood know about it so that they can protect their children and know that the offenders could be anyone,” said her father.
Read: Let’s Talk About Rape