An Indian man has been charged with raping a five-year-old girl at US embassy premises in India’s New Delhi capital, police said Thursday.
The 25-year-old was arrested Sunday a day after the alleged incident for local housekeeping staff in the living quarters at the high-security compound.
Police officer Yogesh Kumar told official sources that the girl had been raped as preliminary medical tests reported. The man was charged under the laws of child rape which carry the death penalty.
With multiple layers of manned and electronic security, the sprawling diplomatic compound is one of the safest in Delhi.
A spokesperson for the US Embassy in New Delhi said Friday it was “deeply disturbed” by the claims, and it took “prompt action” including reporting the incident to police and helping to arrange medical aid.
“We are cooperating with the Indian-led investigation. We extend our sympathy and full support to the child and her family,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
India is grappling with the country’s increasing number of cases of sexual assault.
Violence against women in the South Asian nation was under the international spotlight after a Delhi student’s brutal gang-rape and murder on a bus in 2012.
According to official data, nearly 34,000 rapes were registered in 2018 with activists saying the number is only the tip of the iceberg.
Experts said the majority of child victims are known to their abusers, with their families often choosing not to report the crimes against speaking out to authorities in the midst of social tabuses.