Police arrested two teenagers Sunday for allegedly raping a toddler in New Delhi, in the latest incident of sexual violence against a young child in the Indian capital. Police said they questioned more than 250 residents of the western Delhi neighborhood where the 2 1/2-year-old girl was raped and left bleeding in a park Friday evening.
The two 17-year-old boys were arrested late Saturday, said Dependra Pathak, a top police officer.
Pushpendra Kumar, deputy commissioner of police, said after they were interrogated, the teens admitted their guilt.
The toddler was playing outside her home when she went missing during a 10-minute power outage in the neighborhood. Family members found her lying unconscious and bleeding in a park three hours later.
In a separate incident, police on Saturday arrested three men for raping a 5-year-old in an east Delhi suburb.
The rape of the two girls came a week after a 4-year-old girl was found dumped near a railway track after being raped and slashed with a blade in the capital.
The assaults have caused uproar, with Delhi residents accusing the city’s government of failure to protect women and girls.
Delhi’s top elected official, Arvind Kejriwal, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying police were failing at their job. Although Kejriwal is the capital’s chief minister, Delhi Police reports to the federal government under Modi.
Kejriwal said that the government and police were not doing enough to protect women in the city and that crimes against them were on the rise, once again insisting that control over police should be handed over to the state government.
A series of recent attacks has renewed public fury and horror over India’s inability to halt chronic violence against women and girls.
In December 2012, the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student on a moving bus led to a national outcry. In response to that attack, the government doubled the maximum prison term for rape to 20 years, created special courts to prosecute cases more quickly, and made voyeurism and acid attacks specific crimes under the law.
India’s National Crime Records Bureau says more than 2,000 girls and women were raped in New Delhi in 2014.