A five-year-old girl is in critical condition after allegedly being kidnapped and repeatedly raped by a neighbor in the Indian capital of Delhi.
The child was taken hostage on Monday while she was playing outside and was then attacked for 48 hours in a locked room on the ground floor of the building where she lived. Reports said she was rescued when a passer-by heard her cries on Wednesday.
Police broken open the door to find the girl lying on the ground, gagged and tied.
No arrests have been made.
"We initially registered a case of kidnapping. We have now launched a preliminary inquiry into rape and attempted murder," said police spokesman Rajan Bhagat, adding that a hunt was on to find the accused.
The Indian Express reported that the suspect is a 24-year-old man who also lives in the building, while Zee News said he is in his 30s.
The five-year-old was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Swami Dayanand Hospital in Delhi on Wednesday and doctors said she was in "critical" condition.
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"The girl was traumatized when she was brought to us. There were injuries to her lips, cheeks and chest wall. There were bruises on her neck," said RN Bansal, medical superintendent of Swami Dayanand hospital.
Some media reports said the girl's throat was slit and her genitals were mutilated.
"There were foreign objects found inside her and this has resulted in infection," the CNN-IBN news channel quoted Bansal as saying.
Protests against the slow action of the police have broken out outside the hospital where the girl is being treated and East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit and Health Minister AK Walia were reportedly heckled by protesters.
Another child, this time a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, was also allegedly raped by a laborer on Wednesday night in southwest Delhi. Police said the toddler was kidnapped by a 30-year-old man who lured her and took her to the Kakraula canal, where he raped and abandoned her.
She was found Thursday morning. Police are still searching for the suspect.