Delhi police question two men after girl of four raped

A protester in Delhi in December 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The brutal attack once again raises questions over the issue of women's safety in the Indian capital

Indian police are questioning two men in connection with the rape of a four-year-old girl in the capital, Delhi.

The city's deputy commissioner of police, Vijay Singh, told the BBC that no arrests had been made yet.

The child is in intensive care after being found unconscious by railway tracks on Friday night. She had surgery for extensive injuries, doctors say.

The attack raises fresh questions over women's safety in Delhi after a 2012 gang rape and murder shocked the world.

The girl, who was found near her home in a poor neighbourhood in the north of the city, was slashed and had severe injuries on her body.

Her family allege she was lured with an offer of food or sweets by a group of men.

Delhi commissioner for women Swati Maliwal, who visited the child in hospital, described her injuries as "horrific".

At the scene: Vineet Khare, Keshav Puram, BBC Hindi

"What happened to us was bad, reprehensible," the victim's grandmother told me as she broke into tears.

She had her grandson of a few months clasped in her arm, while his five-year-old sister played nearby, unaware of the tragedy that befell her younger sibling last week.

The family lives in what resembles a small box, one of the hundreds lining a railway track, a familiar sight in urban India. To reach the house, one has to negotiate short, narrow alleys and clogged drains.

Locals said the incident happened across the railway track, a depressed piece of land littered with caked human faeces, where locals relieved themselves.

Most men in the area do small temporary jobs while women work as help in houses nearby. Shops selling liquor is a worry. The culprits were said to be drunk.

"Drunk men tease women when they go out to relieve themselves. There are no toilets," one woman said.

"We are worried about our children. We do not let them out for fear they might be taken away by unknown men."

The gang rape and murder of a student in 2012 in Delhi led to protests and new anti-rape laws in the country.

However, brutal sexual attacks against women and children continue to be reported across the country.

In 2014, a Delhi woman alleged that she had been raped by the driver of her Uber taxi.

In July, police arrested a man who confessed to sexually assaulting and murdering 30 children from in and around Delhi.

More than 1,500 cases of rape have been recorded by the police this year but there are believed to be many others which go unreported.

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