A 10-year-old boy died in a Delhi hospital on Saturday after over two weeks of being sexually assaulted by two friends and a relative.
The boy died in an intensive care unit (ICU) ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital on Saturday. He was from New Seelampur area in Northeast Delhi.
The boy was admitted to the hospital on September 22 and the police was informed of the boy's assault by the hospital on the same day. He was assaulted on September 18. When Delhi Police reached the hospital, the parents of the boy refused to give a statement, reported NDTV.
The report added that the parents of the boy had admitted him four days after the assault, which worsened his injuries. It cited doctors as saying that the condition of the boy was so bad that it reminded them of the 2012 Delhi Nirbhaya gangrape case.
It was only on September 24 that the family of the boy gave a statement to the police.
"After counselling arranged by the police, the boy's mother eventually disclosed that her son was physically assaulted and sodomised by his three friends over a debt that the family was having trouble paying back on time," reported NDTV.
The Delhi Commmission of Women (DCW) has also raised the issue of the child twice. First, DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal issued a notice to Delhi Police on September 25. Maliwal shared the notice she sent to police on Twitter in which she wrote that the boy's mother had approached DCW. In the notice, the age of the boy is mentioned as 12.
"The complainant has submitted that her child was gangraped on 18.09.2022 by four men who even inserted a rod in his private parts. They also beat him up brutally with bricks and rods," said Maliwal in the notice.
12 साल के लड़के से बलात्कार के मामले में दिल्ली पुलिस को नोटिस जारी किया है. सभी आरोपी जल्द से जल्द गिरफ्तार हों और बच्चे को न्याय मिले. pic.twitter.com/352eWsL1pD— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) September 25, 2022
The Indian Express reported the family as saying that the boy was also pushed from a terrace.
"They said the boy suffered from kidney failure, body infection, and internal blood clots," reported The Express.
Delhi police had apprehended two of the accused and produced them before the Juvenile Justice Board, reported PTI.
NDTV reported that one the accused is the boy's cousin, who was also apprehended. The report added that based on the mother's statement, a case was registered under the Protection Of Children Sexual Offences Act and sections 377 (Unnatural offences) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Charges of rape are not slapped as, under Section 375 of IPC, rape can only be committed on a female by a male.
The Express reported that two of the apprehended accused have been released.
"The Delhi Police apprehended two of the juveniles in connection with the case but they were released by the Juvenile Justice Board after their parents signed an ‘undertaking’. The accused, aged 12 and 13, have been temporarily released on grounds of age and insufficient medical evidence in the case," reported The Express.
Confirming the boy's death on Twitter, Maliwal said, "When we are so angry and hurt, just try to think what his parents would be going through? May God give them strength in this difficult time."
ये 12 साल का बच्चा अब हमारे बीच नहीं रहा। बच्चे ने बहुत दर्द सहा और आख़री दम तक लड़ता रहा। उसके क़ातिलों को सख़्त सज़ा होनी ही चाहिए!— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) October 1, 2022
जब हमको इतना ग़ुस्सा आ रहा है और दर्द महसूस हो रहा है, सोचें उसके माँ बाप पे क्या बीत रही होगी। भगवान उनको इस मुश्किल समय में शक्ति दे। 🙏🏽 https://t.co/vql6LwqBoU