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Indian child 'critical' after brutal rape: protest

in INDIA, 21/04/2013

A five-year-old Indian girl was battling for her life on Friday after being kidnapped and brutally raped in the latest incident of sexual violence which has triggered nationwide protests. The girl was attacked inside a locked room over at least a 48-hour period, police said, after being abducted as she played outside on Monday in a lower-middle class area of the capital New Delhi.

"We initially registered a case of kidnapping. We have now launched a preliminary inquiry into rape and attempted murder," Rajan Bhagat told AFP, adding a hunt was on to catch a family neighbour who is the main accused.

The child, found after a passerby heard her cries and alerted the police, was admitted to the intensive care unit of a city hospital Wednesday and doctors said her condition was "critical" as news channels provided wall-to-wall coverage. The incident comes just months after India was shaken by the horrific gang-rape of a student in Delhi on a bus last December that triggered countrywide demonstrations and debate over the status of women and girls and their safety.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a late night statement said he was "deeply disturbed" over the rape of the child, calling it a "shameful incident", and asked society "to work to root out the evil of rape and other such crimes."

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