A 5-year-old girl is in critical condition at an Indian hospital after a man allegedly raped and tortured her over the course of several days, according to multiple reports.
The Times of India writes that the girl, who doctors said weighed under 50 lbs when she was admitted to the hospital, had an infection and had to have surgery to remove a candle and a bottle of hair oil that were found inside her.
The girl was located Wednesday in an apartment of the New Delhi building where she lived with her family, The Indian Express reports, noting that she had cuts on her neck and bite marks on her face and chest, presumably from her attacker.
Moreover, the medical superintendent of the hospital said she had a fever and that her blood pressure was "way below normal" when she was examined, per The Hindustan Times.
The girl had been missing for two days (four days, The Times of India says) when neighbors told her parents they heard screams from a first-floor apartment and kicked in the door, The Indian Express reports.
Her mother says the girl was kidnapped by a neighbor and raped, but that the neighbor has since absconded, according to The Times of India. The Indian Express notes that police have identified a 24-year-old suspect who lives in the building and are currently tracking him down.
The girl's father claims that city police initially refused to file a crime report and later attempted to buy his family's silence on the matter by giving him 2,000 Rupees (about $37), The Times Of India reported. An inquiry has been opened to investigate police misconduct, and three New Delhi police officials have been suspended, New Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said, according to The Indian Express.
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday that he was "deeply disturbed" by the crime. That same day, a protest erupted outside the New Delhi Hospital where the girl was recovering.
India has received much international attention in the wake of a young student's death after a brutal gang rape in December 2012, which also happened in New Delhi. The 23-year-old physiotherapy student's attackers inserted a metal rod inside her that had pulled out most of her intestines when it was removed, one of her doctors said in December.
In early February, India passed a series of measures into law, imposing harsher penalties for convicted rapists. Among other things, the new laws dramatically increase prison terms for rape and also outlaw sexual assault and stalking.
But the recent measures, which were rammed through the legislature to quench public desire for reform, fall short of outlawing marital rape and cannot be used to prosecute members of the army.
UPDATE: Reuters reported on Saturday that police have arrested a suspect in the state of Bihar.