Police are investigating the sexual assault and murder of a six-year-old girl in the northern Indian state of Haryana. The child was allegedly snatched from her home on Friday, before her body was discovered nearby on Sunday. The crime and the extent of the girl’s injuries have sent shockwaves through the country, with reports the child was violated with a stick.
No arrests have been made so far, but a special investigative team has been set up to look into the child’s death and detain those responsible, AFP reports.
The girl’s family reportedly want the federal police to investigate their daughter’s death because they say they do not trust the local police. Her parents have reportedly given the police until 11am on Wednesday to make an arrest in the case, and threatened to escalate the protest if they have not.
The victim’s parents have three other children, two sons and a daughter. The news comes just a week short of the fifth anniversary of the 2012 Delhi bus rape case, which sparked widespread protests across India.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy student, Jyoti Singh, was beaten, gang raped and tortured on a moving bus and died of her injuries days later.
The incident sparked demonstrations and shone a light on India’s pervasive problem of sexual violence against women, after which the government introduced tougher punishments for rape, including the death penalty.
Nearly 35,000 cases of rape were reported across India in 2015, according to the country’s National Crime Records Bureau, but human rights experts have warned many attacks still go unreported