Delhi police have taken a 25-year-old man into custody after a five-year-old identified him as the individual who raped her on US embassy grounds in New Delhi’s Chanakyapuri neighborhood over the weekend.
District police spoke to reporters earlier this week and revealed the details of the incident that is said to have taken place on Saturday. According to investigators, the suspect was home alone that morning, as his father, who is employed by the embassy, was working and his mother was visiting a relative.
“He noticed the girl playing outside her house. He lured her to his own house and raped her there,” an unnamed investigator revealed, according to the Hindustan Times. The 25-year-old is alleged to have gotten the child’s attention by offering to let her play games on his mobile phone.
Police said that the mother “fell ill” after she returned home and was informed of the assault by her daughter, but carried the child to a private clinic later on that day. A report was filed the following day at the Chanakyapuri police station in the nation’s capital.
“We got the child medically examined and treated at AIIMS [All India Institute of Medical Sciences] trauma center. The medical test confirmed rape,” an officer said during the news conference.
Authorities revealed that the suspect’s family is familiar with the victim and her family, as they all reside in the staff quarters of the embassy.
“The suspect didn’t even expect that the girl would inform her parents or that anyone would approach the police,” Eish Singhal, deputy commissioner of police for the New Delhi District, asserted, explaining that the individual did not have a prior criminal record. “He wasn’t expecting that his crime would lead to police action.”
When the news broke, some outlets identified the suspect as a driver for the embassy. According to New Delhi Television Limited, however, the US embassy clarified in a statement to the outlet that the 25-year-old was not one of its employees.
"We were deeply disturbed by the alleged misconduct. We promptly took action when we were informed of the allegation, and brought this matter to the attention of the police. Of course, we are cooperating fully with them," an embassy spokesperson said.
Singhal noted that the suspect has been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, which can carry the death penalty.