Published September 28, 2023, 4:54 pm ET
The brutal rape of a 12-year-old girl has reportedly sparked outrage in India after surveillance footage showed passers-by scaring the bloodied and half-naked girl away as she pleaded for help for two hours.
Authorities said a rickshaw driver in the horrific attack in the central Indian city of Ujjain is now in custody after the battered teenager was finally rescued by a Hindu priest on Wednesday, according to a BBC report.
“She couldn’t speak,” priest Rahul Sharma told reporters.
“Her eyes were swollen. I then inquired what had happened, but she spoke in a language I did not understand. I also gave her a pen and paper, but she couldn’t write anything either.”
The unidentified girl was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital where she underwent surgery.
The suspect, identified as Bharat Soni by The Tribune of India on Thursday, has been charged in the attack.
The heartbreaking video of the abused teen stumbling around and knocking on doors for help on Monday.
At one point, a bystander can be seen waving her away as she pleads for help – adding to widespread outrage over the disturbing footage.
Disturbing surveillance footage shows a bloodied and half-naked 12-year-old rape victim pleading for help for two hours in India on Monday – while a passerby waved her away. A local rickshaw driver has now been charged over the attack.NDTV
The horrific incident even prompted local police officers to line up to donate blood, the outlet said.
“We will take care of them in every possible way,” Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told the Tribune. “She is both my daughter and the daughter of the state, and we will ensure that the defendant receives a severe sentence.”
According to the BBC, the girl was reported missing on Sunday in the town of Stana – more than 430 miles from where she was found.
A 12-year-old rape victim who was reported missing in India on Sunday turned up more than 430 miles from her home the following day. The video, in which the girl pleaded for help for two hours, sparked widespread outrage in the country. NDTV
After the video surfaced, police also questioned several people who had come in contact with the girl.
“Five people who came in contact with the girl are being questioned,” Ujjain Police Commissioner Sachin Sharma told news agency ANI on Thursday.
He said the girl was “incomprehensible and initially unable to provide any information about her whereabouts.”
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