A devastated mother has told how her 11-month-old baby was snatched from her bed in the middle of the night and raped for two hours before she was found unconscious in bushes with her clothes ripped, nail marks all over her body and covered in blood.
The 25-year-old mother said she screamed as she realised her baby had been taken from a tent on a building site in Delhi, India.
‘I woke up and she was gone,’ she said. ‘I don’t know what stirred me but when I knew she was missing I was screaming and crying for help.’
Recalling the ordeal, she explained how it took a frantic 30 minute police search before the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was finally discovered by police.
She said she fears her daughter will now suffer from long-term health problems after being taken from the bed where her husband and their four-year-old son also slept.
The family were living in a tent because her father, 27, had been earning £2 a day as a labourer constructing a new police residential complex in Vikaspuri, Delhi, northern India, and couldn’t afford to pay for more expensive accommodation.
‘We were used to sleeping this way, I thought we were ok.’
But when she woke up at 1am, to her horror, her baby was missing.
She said: ‘We shouted for help. I was shouting so loudly I woke everyone in nearby tents and everyone started looking for my daughter. I was crying for help.
‘We didn’t expect this. We were at peace. I thought we were safe. We all work together. It’s nice. We didn’t expect that something like this could happen. We didn’t do anything wrong, didn’t fight with anyone. I felt completely helpless.’
One of the other labourers called the police, who arrived at 1.30am, and officials quickly arrived and searched the area.
They eventually found the girl in a nearby jungle area at 2am.
She had her clothes torn and there were bloody scratch marks across her little body.
She was treated at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for severe bleeding.
‘When I saw the police holding my baby I was shocked’
Her husband is overwhelmed with guilt that he could not protect his daughter.
He said: ‘I am shocked. I never believed this would happen to my family. I don’t know what to think but God will now punish him for what he has done to my daughter.
‘We do not want to stay here now. We’ll go somewhere else.’
The girl is now recovering after needing stitches.
Pushpendra Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Delhi), confirmed that a man was arrested and has been charged with rape.
Vijay Singh, 42, has reportedly admitted that he took the child to the bushes beside a drain and raped her for almost two hours.
Mr Kumar said: ‘We found the baby around 2am in the nearby jungle with her clothes torn. The accused has been arrested and the charge sheet has been filed. He is now locked up in Tihar Jail until the case reaches court.’
Additional reporting: Ramandeep Kaur