Protesters filled the streets in New Delhi Sunday, as citizens called on the government to take action after three young girls were raped in the past week.
Two teens were arrested late Saturday after allegedly raping a 2-year-old girl in a New Delhi park Friday evening. The tot went missing during a brief power outage and her family found her three hours later bleeding and unconscious in the park.
Police Deputy Commissioner Pushpendra Kumar said the two suspects admitted their guilt during interrogation.
Numerous rape cases
The case was the latest in recent attacks that have renewed public anger over India's inability to halt chronic violence against women and girls.
Also Saturday, police arrested three men for allegedly raping a 5-year-old girl in an east Delhi suburb.
In a separate incident last week, a 4-year-old girl was found abandoned near a railway track after being raped and slashed with a blade in the capital. She is in intensive care after the attack.
The Indian government toughened laws regarding rape crimes after a 23-year-old medical student died after being gang raped on a bus in 2012. The maximum prison term doubled to 20 years for rape crimes and new courts were established to process rape cases more efficiently.
India's National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported in India's capital alone, about 2,000 women and girls were rape victims in 2014, and the cases over the last week have put officials in the spotlight.
Protesters were trying to reach Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as police set up barricades to control the crowds.
Prime minister criticized
Kejriwal responded to the assaults by calling out Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the police who report to him for doing too little to protect women and girls.
“There is no police rule only jungle rule in Delhi ever since the formation of Narendra Modi's government. You (Modi) have no time. You should give up your stubbornness and hand over Delhi police for a year to us,” he told reporters.
One protester said government members are focusing on politics over the issue that is unfolding.
“What we see is that two minors have been raped and the Delhi police, Delhi government and lieutenant general are only blaming each other and not taking required action," the protester said.
The NCRB reported 36,700 rape cases in India in 2014, although some experts say that number is underreported.
Some material for this report came from Reuters and AP.