A 21-year-old caretaker of a building was caught sexually assaulting a one-and-a half-year-old child at her house in Shahpur Jat near Hauz Khas on Monday afternoon. The child's mother, who works as a household help, had left the child in his care. When she returned, she found him raping the child.
The girl was admitted to Safdurjung hospital and has been kept under observation after a minor surgery.
Around 5pm, when the child's mother returned from working at a nearby housing colony, she heard the girl's cries and rushed to the room. She found the youth sexually assaulting her daughter. Another youth known to the accused was standing near the door to keep a watch.
The woman fought with the youth, but he managed to flee. She then informed her husband about the incident. The accused was soon caught by local residents who had gathered after hearing the mother's calls for help.
The youth claimed that he came to Delhi with the child's father, who runs a placement agency. He used to bring youths every month from their village in UP and employ them in Delhi. The youth got the job of a caretaker at an apartment, but stayed with the child's parents to save on rent.
"We used to ask him to keep an eye on the child while we were away. His behaviour is quite unexpected," said the child's father.
After the incident, the accused tried to remove bloodstains from the room and washed the bedsheet stained with the child's blood. He is being questioned to find out if he has committed similar offenses before. His friend, who was keeping guard outside the room, is also being questioned to find out whether he too had raped the child.
Family members said that the girl was admitted to the ICU of Safdarjung hospital on Monday night. Doctors told police that the child has suffered internal injuries and would take a few weeks to recover.
"We treat cases of sexual assault of children with utmost importance. The accused was arrested within 24 hours of the complaint being registered. He has been booked for rape and under POCSO Act," Delhi Police chief spokesperson Dependra Pathak said.