A young girl who was raped in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has died, an official said.
The girl, who was reportedly four or five years old, suffered cardiac arrest and died late on Monday at a hospital in Nagpur city in neighbouring Maharashtra state, where she was being treated for injuries after being attacked by two men on April 18.
Bharat Yadav, a chief administrative for the Seoni district where the attack occurred, said two men have been arrested in connection with the attack.
The girl was lured by one of the men to a farm, where she was then raped by the other man, who was a friend of her parents, Yadav said, adding that the parents, poor construction workers, were at work when the attack occurred.
The Times of India said the girl was airlifted to hospital.
Ravi Manadiar, an administrator at the hospital, said the girl suffered a brain injury when the men tried to smother her as she cried. She 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 said on Tuesday. “These men should be burned alive so that the whole world will see how such criminals ought to be punished.”
India has seen a recent sharp rise in the numbers of rapes and sexual crimes against women and children. Officials say the spike has resulted from more people reporting the crimes.
Earlier this month, another young girl was kidnapped, raped and tortured by two men who then abandoned her in a locked room in New Delhi.
She is still recovering at a hospital in the city.
Police refused to register that case when the girl’s parents reported that their daughter was missing.
Hundreds of people protested outside police headquarters in New Delhi for three days, angry over allegations of police inaction and indifference to the parents’ complaints.
The attacks on the young girls come four months after the fatal gang rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus sparked outrage across India about the treatment of women in the country.
The December attack spurred the government to pass tough laws for crimes against women, including the death penalty for repeat offenders or for rape attacks that lead to the victim’s death.