Condition of Indian girl who was raped improves

Protests continue over authorities' handling of case

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NEW DELHI — The condition of a 5-year-old girl who was raped, tortured and then left alone in a locked room for two days has improved, a doctor said, as protests continued in India's capital over the authorities' handling of the case.

The girl was in critical condition when she was transferred Thursday from a local hospital to the largest government-run hospital in the country. But D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the state-run hospital in New Delhi where the girl was being treated, said Sunday that she was responding well to treatment and that her condition had stabilized.

Police say the girl had been missing since April 15 and was found two days later by neighbors who heard her crying in a locked room in the same New Delhi building where she lives with her family. The girl was alone when she was found, having been left for dead by the man following the brutal attack, police say.

A 24-year-old man was arrested Saturday in the eastern state of Bihar, about 620 miles from New Delhi. After being flown to New Delhi, he was in custody Sunday and was being questioned, police said.

The attack came 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.

For the second consecutive day, hundreds of people protested Sunday outside police headquarters in the capital, angry over allegations that police had ignored complaints by the girl's parents that she was missing.

About 100 supporters of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party protested outside the home of the chief of the ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, demanding that the government ensure the safety and security of women and girls in the city.

The protesters also demanded that the Delhi police chief be removed from office and that police officials accused of failing to act on the parents' complaint be dismissed.