NEW DELHI – Hundreds of protesters clashed with police Friday outside a New Delhi hospital where a 7-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted at school was admitted earlier in the day, police said.
Angry youths hurled stones at buses and police, who then used batons to break up the demonstration outside the hospital, which is located in a low-income neighborhood, NDTV channel reported.
“The protesters were angry over the assault on the little girl and were demanding that police act against the culprit,” a police press official said.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said the second-grader was sexually assaulted Friday morning while at school.
After police were called, the child was taken to a hospital and later discharged.
“The crowds have dispersed and the situation is normal,” the official said.
Police are investigating the case, he added, declining comment on local media reports that three men — two school teachers and a security guard — had been detained for questioning.
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 seen a surge in antirape demonstrations in recent weeks after thousands took to the streets to protest police inaction following the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in Delhi in December.
She subsequently died after receiving treatment at a hospital in Singapore.
Last month, furious villagers in the western state of Maharashtra staged protests after police failed to make headway in a case in which three sisters between 6 and 11 were raped, killed and then dumped in a well.
India’s home minister in an address to Parliament on Friday promised a probe into the deaths of the three children and said he was “deeply shocked at the despicable, ghastly and brutal” incident.
No arrests have been made in that case.
Family members said the girls vanished in mid-February after going out to look for their mother. They were found in the well two days after their disappearance.
In an incident in January at a school in the Indian resort state of Goa, a 7-year-old girl was raped after being dragged into a lavatory next to the headmistress’ office during a class break.
The attack prompted statewide demonstrations and police launched a massive manhunt for the attacker, who is still at large.
Police arrested the headmistress on charges of negligence and destruction of evidence for ordering a teacher to “clean up” the child following the attack.
Call to stop flogging
Maldives authorities have called on the country’s Islamic Ministry and judiciary to stop the public flogging of a teenaged girl for having sex outside marriage, a government official said Friday.
A court in the tiny island of Feydhoo recently sentenced the 15-year-old to 100 lashes after she admitted to having consensual sex, a court official said on condition of anonymity because he had no formal approval to speak to the media.
The official said details of the consensual sex act emerged when police investigated her complaint against her stepfather and another man of sexually abusing her.
He said the sentence includes an option for the flogging to be carried out when the girl turns 18.
Her partner has not been identified and it was not clear how hard the police tried to identify him, he said.
Government spokesman Masood Imad said the government considered her a victim of sexual abuse and wants the sentence revoked.