Even as protests against the brutal rape of a five-year-old girl in the Gandhi Nagar area of East Delhi snowballed into widespread public outrage, the 22-year-old casual worker accused of the crime was brought here on Saturday.

Manoj Sah was tracked down to his in-laws’ place in Bihar by the State Police in coordination with their counterparts from Delhi.

The protesters, comprising volunteers from the Aam Aadmi Party, shouted slogans outside the 10-Janpath residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, breached barricades and clashed with the police outside the bungalow of Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Krishna Menon Marg, and organised a daylong sit-in at the Delhi Police Headquarters.

Shaken by the gory incident, activists of the BJP and Left parties, besides the gamut of students’ organisations, took to the streets to lodge their protest against police apathy and held candlelight marches. Angry residents also protested outside the Gandhi Nagar police station.

Releasing a health bulletin earlier on Saturday, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Medical Superintendent D.K. Sharma said the victim, who was operated on around midnight Friday and is being monitored by an eight-member team, was stable, conscious and alert.

Amid protests at the Police Headquarters, Deputy Commissioner (East Delhi) Mr. Prabhakar held a press briefing in the afternoon to announce Sah’s arrest.

“Manoj, who works at a garments factory, was arrested at Chiknouta in Muzaffarpur in the early hours of Saturday. We have obtained his transit remand. The accused disclosed that he had run away, leaving the girl in his room, thinking that she had died,” he said.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Manoj, who hails from Muzaffarpur, shifted here with his father about 15 years ago. His father, Bindeswar, runs a juice stall in Old Seelampur. “Manoj was earlier arrested in a trespass case in 2010 and the matter is at the trial stage,” the officer said.


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