NEW DELHI – Indian police have arrested a second suspect in their investigation into the abduction and rape of a five-year-old girl in New Delhi last week, officials said Monday.
Pradeep Kumar was arrested at a relative’s home in the eastern state of Bihar overnight after the main accused, Manoj Kumar, said he had taken part in the shocking attack which triggered weekend protests in the Indian capital.
“The second accused was hiding in his uncle’s home. We have arrested him and we will be soon bringing him to Delhi for a joint interrogation and medical tests,” said a senior investigating officer, requesting anonymity.
News of the attack triggered new outrage over sexual crimes, reminiscent of protests that swept the capital in December after a 23-year-old student was savagely gang-raped on a moving bus.
She died nearly two weeks later.
Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in New Delhi on Sunday over levels of sexual violence as the five-year-old was being treated at a hospital for internal injuries sustained during her ordeal.
The child “is conscious and stable,” D.K. Sharma, one of a team of doctors treating her at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences hospital, said on Monday.
According to investigators, the youngster was abducted on April 15 in a lower-middle-class area of New Delhi and sexually assaulted for more than 40 hours inside a locked room.
Manoj Kumar, a 22-year-old garment worker who was a tenant in the girl’s house, was arrested on Friday after he had fled to his in-laws’ home in Bihar.