In a shocking incident reported in Indian capital, New Delhi, an 18-month-old girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour while she was out playing.
Police said on Thursday (2 November) that the accused, Rakesh, 33, admitted to the crime during questioning. He has been charged for rape under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Aman Vihar, where the alleged crime took place, reportedly fares among the places most unsafe for girls in the national capital. Police data showed that the local police station in the area registered nearly 60 rape cases in 2016 – the highest in any locality in Delhi, the Hindustan Times wrote.
The latest incident took place on Wednesday (1 November) at around 9am local time (3.30 UK time), police said.
The girl was first spotted by her mother, who noticed her bleeding profusely and complaining of pain in her privates, police added. The mother rushed the girl to the hospital where doctors informed police.
The toddler had to undergo emergency surgery, following which she was out of danger, police said on Thursday.
"We zeroed in on Rakesh after making enquiries in the locality. We also learnt he was missing from his house," MN Tiwari, deputy commissioner of police for outer Delhi, said of the accused.
"Based on the medical report and a statement from her family members, we registered a case of rape under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act," he added.
Rakesh reportedly faces a minimum of seven-year jail sentence and a maximum of life imprisonment if convicted.
National capital Delhi is often termed as the crime capital or rape capital of the country. Hindustan Times reported that police data until 30 September 2016 showed there were at least 1,004 cases of rape registered in the city, up from 927 registered in 2015.
Delhi Police data also showed that a girl is raped every 12 hours in the city. Police also noted that many other cases remain unreported, primarily out of the fear of social stigma attached to rape victims.