Police in India arrested another relative of a 10-year-old girl this week after new evidence indicates he allegedly raped and impregnated the girl.
The young girl from Chandigarh, Punjab allegedly was raped by her uncle and became pregnant earlier this year. When her parents discovered that she was pregnant about six months into her pregnancy, they asked the Supreme Court of India to let her have a late-term abortion.
However, the high court refused their request after doctors said the abortion was too risky. The girl gave birth in August.
Last week, a DNA test showed that the baby was not her uncle’s, prompting a new investigation.
International Business Times reports police arrested a second uncle of the girl this week after he tried to flee from his home. Police said the man, a cook by profession, later confessed to raping the girl.
Here’s more from the report:
The latest arrest was made after the child told in her statement before the authorities on Tuesday that her “younger mama (maternal uncle)” used to rape her.
Senior superintendent of police in Chandigarh, Nilambari Vijay Jagdale, told Hindustan Times: “It was in one of the counselling sessions that the victim told her mother about the second accused. He has been arrested.”
The young girl’s case drew international attention after her parents asked the Supreme Court of India to allow her to have an abortion past the 20-week legal abortion limit. However, the court refused the request after doctors said the abortion could endanger her life.
The Daily Mail reports the girl told police her first uncle, the older brother, abused her, and police said the uncle admitted to the crime. He currently is in prison, facing sexual assault charges.
However, DNA evidence indicated that the baby was not his, according to the report. Police likely will conduct a new DNA test to see if the second uncle, the younger brother, is the father.
The girl’s parents are making an adoption plan for her baby girl, unbeknownst to her. According to reports, the family and doctors did not tell the young girl that she was pregnant. This means the abortion request and adoption plan were made by her parents without her knowledge or consent.
“Her doctor told CNN the girl didn’t know she was pregnant. [When she gave birth via cesarean section,] her parents told her that she needed surgery for a kidney stone problem, and refused to allow medical professionals to tell their child the truth …” CNN reported in August.
Sexual abuse is a huge problem in India, with 20,000 cases of sexual assaults reported in 2015, according to government data reported by AFP.
The high court has heard a number of requests for late-term abortions from families of young rape victims in the past few months. Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India, but the high court has granted a number of exceptions for young rape victims.
Earlier in September, the Supreme Court gave a 13-year-old girl permission to abort her unborn baby at 32 weeks; however, the girl gave birth to a live baby. The baby boy died two days later, likely because his lungs were underdeveloped.
In May, the high court granted permission for a 10-year-old rape victim to have a late-term abortion when she was about 20 weeks pregnant. In that case, the girl’s stepfather allegedly raped her.
At 20 weeks, an unborn baby already is fully formed and close to the point of viability (about 23 weeks). Late-term abortions also are risky and can be deadly for the mother as well as her unborn child.