New Delhi: anger grows over spate of child rapes

Police and government accused of not taking the attacks seriously enough

India rape protests
(Image credit: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images)

A succession of alleged child rapes in New Delhi has prompted angry demands for the authorities to do more to stop them.

In recent days, three very young girls have allegedly been raped in the city. A two-year-old was abducted in front of her house in western Delhi, taken to a park and raped, according to deputy police commissioner Pushpendar Kumar.

In separate cases, a five-year-old was allegedly raped in eastern Delhi on Friday night just days after a four-year-old was also allegedly raped in the capital. Police have made arrests in all three cases.

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However, there is widespread concern that the authorities are not taking the problem seriously enough, reports CNN. Yesterday, Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed prime minister Narendra Modi for his "silence" over the attacks.

Demanding to be handed direct responsibility for the Delhi police service, which currently reports to the prime minister, he said: "I will not remain silent. We will not allow the prime minister to sleep peacefully if women in Delhi do not get proper safety and the present trend of rapes continues."

Over the weekend, student groups held a protest in front of the Delhi police headquarters, condemning police for their "inefficiency" and demanding an end to "rape culture".

An appalling case involving the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in 2012 in Delhi led to demonstrations and new anti-rape laws in the country. The government doubled the maximum prison term for rape to 20 years and created special courts to prosecute cases more quickly.

Official data shows India recorded 13,766 cases of rapes on minors last year. Of those, more than 1,000 cases were reported in New Delhi.

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