A 12-year-old boy is in “critical condition” after he was allegedly gang-raped and beaten in India’s capital New Delhi, according to a statement from the city’s police and a complaint lodged by the boy’s family to the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
Delhi Police Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Sain said in a video statement the alleged assault was carried out by three males—all minors known to the victim—including a family relative.
The alleged assault was said to have taken place in the northeastern neighborhood of Seelampur on September 18, but was not reported until September 22, according to both the police and DCW statements.
The DCW is a statutory authority appointed to investigate matters concerning the security and safety of women under Delhi law.
The case is under investigation, and two of the accused have been arrested, Sain said in the video statement. “The three accused are from the same community, they were neighbors,” Sain said, adding that one of the men was related to the victim.
They have not yet been charged.
According to a statement from the DCW on Sunday, the boy’s parents said their son was in “critical condition” after allegedly being assaulted with a rod and “brutally” beaten with bricks.
“The boy is not in a good state and may not make it,” DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal told CNN by phone when asked about his current condition.
Protests in India against the high incidence of sexual assault, typically against women and girls, have become commonplace in recent years.
In 2012, the gang-rape and murder of medical student Nirbhaya—a pseudonym given to the victim, meaning “fearless”—in Delhi galvanized millions of women to call for tougher penalties for perpetrators.
Nirbhaya suffered horrific injuries after being raped and assaulted with iron rods, according to court documents. She died two weeks after the attack in a Singapore hospital.
Nirbhaya’s death cast a spotlight on sexual assault in India and marked a turning point in the country, with the introduction of new laws including the fast-tracking of rape cases through the justice system and an amended definition of rape to include anal and oral penetration.