A 4-year-old Indian girl who was raped last week is currently in critical condition, having sustained severe brain injuries after allegedly being suffocated.
The unnamed child was reportedly raped in her village in Madhya Pradesh on April 17, according to Press Trust of India.
The girl's family found the child, who went missing on Wednesday, the next morning lying unconscious and profusely bleeding near a crematorium in her village, according to The Times of India. She had lacerations, tears and bruises on her body, and had allegedly been suffocated, which caused serious brain injuries.
Firoz Khan, a 35-year-old welder, is accused of raping the 4-year-old. His alleged accomplice is accused of using chocolate to lure the girl from her home, NDTV reports.
“The condition of the 4-year-old child, who was found unconscious in a field in Ghansur town of MP, is still critical. She is totally unconscious from the time she was brought to Nagpur," a doctor told The Hindu. "We have done all the examinations including MRI brain and EEG which indicates gross damage to her brain. Her brain’s functioning has reduced to an abnormal level. This is hypoxic brain damage which means inability of brain to work due lack of oxygen supply."
“She has been put on a life support system and is being treated by a team of senior doctors. Nothing else can be said about her situation now" he added.
Police are still searching for Khan, who may have left the country, according to NDTV. The other suspect has been arrested.
News of this horrific incident comes in the midst of fury over the rape and torture of a 5-year-old girl in the Indian capital . The girl was found Wednesday in a New Delhi apartment building and doctors discovered a candle and a bottle of hair oil inside her little body.
Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in the wake of the crime, alleging that police did not respond to the tragedy.
"The police must be held accountable for their shocking levels of apathy. They urgently need to review police processes to ensure that all cases of rape and sexual violence – not just those highlighted by the media – are fully and promptly investigated," G. Ananthapadmanabhan, who heads the India chapter of the human rights group Amnesty International, said, according to the Associated Press. "Those who fail to do their job must be held accountable."
Two suspects -- aged 19 and 24 -- have been arrested in connection with the rape, according to the report.