New Delhi/Muzaffarpur: The alleged brutal rape of five-year-old girl by a male neighbour in the New Delhi triggered wave of protests on Saturday in the national capital against the grisly crime, reawakening concerns about safety for women and girls.

Despite a holiday, several hundred people have gathered outside AIIMS and Delhi Headquarters at ITO seperately to protest against the brutalisation of the five-year-old victim. They demanded better law enforcement and chanted slogans on gender rights, television reports showed.

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Angry protesters took to streets since Saturday morning. There were reports of demonstrations outside AIIMS and Delhi Headquarters at ITO.

Outrage returned to Delhi once again as gory details emerged of the rape of a five-year-old, who was kidnapped, starved and brutally tortured for two days. She also contracted infection from foreign objects inserted in her body.

Protests erupted at AIIMS and Police Headquarters demanding justice for the victim and punishment to policemen who allegedly did not help locate the girl who went missing on April 15.

Activists belonging to Aam Aadmi Party protested outside Delhi Police Headquarters alleging police apathy in the case while others staged a demonstration outside AIIMS Hospital in solidarity with the girl.

Manoj arrested from Muzaffarpur

A 22-year-old youth allegedly involved in the rape of the five-year-old girl in the national capital was arrested on early Saturday morning even as outrage returned to national capital, police said.

Addressing the media, DCP East Delhi, Prabhakar said that the accused was being brought to Delhi on three-day transit remand.

Manoj Kumar was apprehended from Chiknouta, his in-law's village, at around 2.00 AM from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, about 50 Kms from Patna. The youth was arrested by a team from Delhi with the help of local police. The accused, who has come by a train from Delhi, was traced after tracking his mobile phone location, police sources said.

Manoj, who doubles up as a tailor and a labourer, is also involved in a property trespass case in an east Delhi locality. Kumar had married recently and his wife had come to her parent's place two days back.

Kumar allegedly raped five-year-old girl at his rented accommodation in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar. The girl and her family stayed in the same building where Kumar lived.

Delhi Police has registered a case and slapped charges of attempt to murder and rape among other things on Kumar, who allegedly confined the girl in his room for at least two days.

Kumar was produced before the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM-West) Shatrughan Singh on Saturday who granted his transit remand till April 23. After acquiring the transit remand, Delhi Police team is taking the accused to the national capital.

Police sources said the youth has confessed to his involvement in the barbaric act.

PM 'deeply disturbed'

Adding to the outrage, the cops allegedly offered the victim's family Rs 2,000 to hush up the case and made insensitive remarks while assistant commissioner of police B S Ahlwat slapped a girl protester at least four times which left her bleeding in an ear.

As the incident sparked an outcry in the national capital, which saw massive protests over the gang-rape of a paramedical student barely four months ago, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said he was "deeply disturbed" with the brutality committed on the child and asked the society to work to root out the evil.

As the PM expressed anger over the treatment meted out to the protesters, Delhi Police on Friday night suspended the ACP. Two other officials faced similar action on the charge of trying to hush up the case even as an inquiry was ordered.

Next 24 hours crucial

Meanwhile, the victim is being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and is stable and conscious but doctors said that the next 48 hours will be crucial for her. The girl is battling for life after she contracted infection from foreign objects inserted into her body.

The horrific incident took place in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar. The girl, who was missing from April 15 evening, was rescued on April 17 from the ground floor of the building where her family was staying.

The girl's rape, which left her in a critical condition, revived memories of the brutal gang rape by five adult men and a teenaged boy of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus on December 16 in New Delhi. That woman died of her injuries.


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