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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Eight-month-old girl raped in Delhi

A cousin, aged 27, arrested and charged with assault that left child covered in blood

This photo taken on February 21, 2017 shows an Indian social activist holding placards during a protest against a rape at Hauz Khas village in New Delhi. Sajjad Hussain / AFP
This photo taken on February 21, 2017 shows an Indian social activist holding placards during a protest against a rape at Hauz Khas village in New Delhi. Sajjad Hussain / AFP

An eight-month-old Indian girl was recovering in hospital on Tuesday after she was raped at her home in Delhi.

The girl's parents rushed her to hospital after discovering her in bed, covered in blood, when they returned from work on Sunday. She later underwent a three-hour operation for her injuries.

The Press Trust of India said the girl's 27-year-old cousin was arrested and charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, meaning he could face a life sentence.

"The worst has happened," tweeted Swati Maliwal, the head of the Delhi Commission for Women, after visiting the girl in hospital.

"An eight-month-old baby has been brutally raped in the capital and is battling for her life in a hospital."

A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 said one in three rape victims in India was a minor and expressed alarm over the widespread sexual abuse of children.

Nearly 11,000 cases of child rape were reported in India in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau's latest figures.

It said three children were raped every day in Delhi alone.

The city, known as India's rape capital, hit global headlines in 2012 for the fatal gang-rape of a young female student.