Raped five-year-old girl in India's Madhya Pradesh dies

Opposition Congress Party activists protest in Bhopal, India, on 30 April 2013 Activists from the opposition Congress Party in Madhya Pradesh burned an effigy of the state's chief minister following news of the girl's death

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A five-year-old girl has died two weeks after being raped in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The girl died on Monday evening, said the hospital in Nagpur City where she was being treated.

At least one person has been arrested in connection with the attack.

This is the latest in a spate of similar cases. Earlier this month, the rape and abduction of another five-year-old girl in Delhi sparked protests.

She is said to be recovering slowly after she was kidnapped, raped, tortured and abandoned in a locked room for more than 48 hours, rescued only after neighbours heard her cries. Two men have been held over the incident.

Harsher punishments

The young girl raped in Madhya Pradesh was found unconscious at a farm on 18 April, and was initially taken to a local hospital before being airlifted to Nagpur in neighbouring Maharashtra state two days later.

"She died from a cardiac arrest at 7:45 pm on Monday," the hospital told the AFP news agency. "We were taking all measures... but yesterday her condition got bad and her blood pressure went down. She was not reacting to medications."

The issue of sexual violence against women and girls in India has been under intense scrutiny since the gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in December led to widespread protests.

Following news of the girl's death, opposition Congress Party activists in Madhya Pradesh held a rally in the state capital Bhopal and burned an effigy of the state's chief minister.

Protesters took to the streets of Delhi following the 15 April attack on the five-year-old there, demanding the resignation of the city's police chief.

Last month India passed a new bill containing harsher punishments, including the death penalty, for rapists.

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