A FIVE-year-old girl has died after being raped in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in the latest in a series of brutal attacks.
The girl suffered cardiac arrest and died late on Monday in hospital in Nagpur, where she was being treated for injuries from the April 18 assault. Two men have been arrested.
The girl was lured by one of the men to a farm, where she was raped by the other man, who was a friend of her parents. The parents were at work on a construction site.
Ravi Manadiar, an administrator at the hospital, said the girl suffered a brain injury when the men tried to smother her cries and was in a coma from April 20 until she died.
In Nagpur, the mother of the girl was inconsolable.
"The court should give them the strictest punishment ever," she sobbed yesterday.
"These men should be burned alive so that the whole world will see how such criminals ought to be punished."
About 40 supporters of the Congress party held a rally in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, to protest at what they said was a rise in violence against women.
Earlier this month, another five-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped and tortured by two men, who then abandoned her in a locked room in New Delhi. She is still recovering.
Police refused to register the case when the girl's parents reported their daughter missing. Hundreds protested outside police headquarters in New Delhi for three days.