Doctors in India have found a candle and bottle inside the body of a five-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped earlier this week.
The girl, who went missing from her home in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar area on Monday (15 April), was found in a neighbour's house who lived in the same building, owned by her parents.
The neighbour is believed to have raped the child repeatedly, mutilating her genitals in the process, and attempted to strangle her before her screams eventually alerted rescuers.
The doctor who examined the girl at a hospital has described her rape as "one of the worst" cases he has ever seen and says "as of now, her condition is critical".
The girl has suffered major injuries to her genital region as well as superficial injuries to her lips, cheeks and chest. The girl's neck also bears deep bruises, indicating an attempt at strangulation.Describing the condition of the girl when she was brought into the hospital, the doctor said "she was scared, not fully conscious" adding that "foreign objects like a candle and oil bottle were found in her body."
The victim is suffering from serious infection due to the foreign objects inserted into her body.
She has been kept in intensive care and doctors have told reporters the next 48 hours are crucial to her survival.
'Police told us to be quiet'
The neighbour apparently kept the girl hostage for two days, locking her up in the room he rented from her parents.
She was finally rescued when her screams were heard on the evening of 17 April.
The suspect is still at large but detectives have kept his father in detention while a police manhunt continues.
According to the girl's family, the police told them to keep quiet when notified of the girl's disappearance. When she was found, they refused to file a report or order a physical examination - instead suggesting that the parents take the girl home to recover.
"She went out to play two days back when she was kidnapped. The man then locked her up in his room and raped her. I want justice from the government," the girl's mother said.
Following the incident, outraged protesters gathered outside the hospital where the girl had been admitted, and chanted slogans against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Police.
They have demanded an immediate arrest of the accused and for the girl to be transferred to a better-equipped hospital.