(BBC) – An eight-month-old baby girl has been raped, allegedly by her cousin, in the Indian capital Delhi.
Police say she is in a critical condition after being admitted to hospital on Sunday. They have arrested the 28-year-old cousin.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, who visited the girl, described her injuries as “horrific”.
The debate over sexual violence in India has grown after the fatal gang rape of a female student in 2012.
The rape of the baby girl happened on Sunday but came to light on Monday after local media reported it.
Ms Maliwal tweeted that the baby had undergone a three-hour operation and that her cries could be heard in the hospital.
Is this a new low for India?
This distressing case of assault on an infant has shocked India and made national headlines. The extent of her injuries has horrified many and prompted them to wonder whether we have reached a new low.
But a look at the statistics, compiled by the government, shows that such crimes are not uncommon.
And worryingly, their numbers are rising rapidly.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, 2016 saw 19,765 cases of child rape being registered in India – a rise of 82% from 2015 when 10,854 cases were recorded.
A couple of years ago, an 11-month-old was kidnapped by a neighbour while she slept next to her mother and brutally raped for two hours.
And in November 2015, a three-month-old was kidnapped and assaulted in the southern city of Hyderabad.
What is the scale of child rape in India?
Police recorded 19,765 cases of child rape in 2016, 240 million women living in India were married before they turned 18, 53.22% of children who participated in a government study reported some form of sexual abuse, 50% of abusers are known to the child or are “persons in trust and care-givers”