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Delhi protests over ‘sex attack’ on seven-year-old girl

2 March Sky News, BBC

Hundreds of protesters have clashed with police after reports that a seven year old girl has been raped at a government school in northwest Delhi.The Times of India newspaper said the attack had occurred in the Mangolpuri area of the capital.

The girl's parents informed police after the injured child was taken to hospital.Dr Sanjay Kumar, who helped treat the girl, said she had injuries consistent with rape.Angry mobs gathered at the hospital and threw stones at a nearby bus, shattering its windows.Protesters hurled stones at police, who had cordoned off the road and used batons to break up the demonstration.After several hours the crowd dispersed.The protesters were angry over the assault on the little girl and were demanding that police act against the culprit,” a police official said.

A Delhi police spokesman said police had registered a rape case and were questioning teachers and security guards at the facility, run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit called the attack “shameful”.Rape inside a school is a shocking incident.

It is shameful that it happened,” she said.India has been gripped in recent months by a national debate over the treatment of women and girls and their safety.Last month three sisters, aged six, nine and 11 were raped and murdered before their bodies were dropped in a village well.

In December a 23 year old medical student was gang raped and attacked on a bus in Delhi. She died 13 days later after being flown to a hospital in Singapore.Six men, including a 17 year old, have been charged with her murder.

Police used batons to break up angry crowds outside a hospital where the girl had been taken for treatment.Teachers and security guards at the government school are being questioned over the alleged assault, police said.The gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in December sparked protests across India.Hundreds of people gathered to protest outside the Sanjay Gandhi hospital in the Mangolpuri area of northern Delhi as news of the alleged sex attack in a local school spread.

Protesters attacked buses and pelted police with stones.Dr Sanjay Kumar, one of those who helped treat the girl, said her injuries were consistent with rape, reports the AP news agency.

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit called the attack “shameful”.Rape inside a school is a shocking incident,” she said.The protests came as India's parliament held an angry debate over the rape and murder of three sisters, aged six to 11, in the state of Maharashtra last month.No-one has been arrested and opposition MPs criticised the slow pace of the investigation.Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said one policeman had been suspended for not acting quickly enough after they had been reported missing.Their bodies were found in a well two days after disappeared from their school.

The issue of sexual violence against women and girls has been under intense scrutiny in India after the rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in December led to widespread protests.Six people deny charges over the case which shocked the nation five in a specially convened fast track court.They face the death penalty, while a juvenile charged this week could be sentenced to three years in a reform facility.

 

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