A five-year-old Indian girl who was abducted, raped and tortured in New Delhi was alert and stable, doctors said, as fresh protests erupted over sexual violence in the country.
The attack evoked memories of the brutal gang-rape and death of a young female student last December which shook India and sparked weeks of demonstrations against widespread crimes against women and children.
Newspapers splashed the rape of the five-year-old on their front pages with headlines such as "Delhi shamed again" and "Depraved Delhi".
The child was being treated at a top government hospital for serious internal injuries sustained during the more than 40-hour ordeal, as police arrested a garment worker early on Saturday on suspicion of carrying out the attack.
"It is the act of a monster," senior Patna police official Ravindar Kumar told AFP, saying the suspect was booked on charges of rape, attempted murder and illegal confinement, and that he would be returned to New Delhi to face trial.
The child "is conscious and alert," D K Sharma, one of a team of doctors treating her at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India's premier government-owned hospital, told reporters.
"Now her condition is okay and she is under close observation," Sharma said, adding she is "quite stable".
The 22-year-old man arrested, Manoj Kumar, described by media reports as a tenant in the child's house, was apprehended after he fled to his in-laws' home in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.
Police accused the suspect of repeatedly attacking the child inside a locked room after kidnapping her Monday in a lower middle-class area of the New Delhi.
Doctors said the girl was mutilated and suffered serious internal and other injuries. She was also fighting an infection.
"She was left for dead by the suspect in the room where she was held for over 40 hours," Delhi's chief police investigator, Prabhakar, who uses one name, said.
Demonstrators were angered by reports that police, who have been under heavy public pressure to reduce the number of rapes, were reluctant to register the case and had offered the father money to forget the assault.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called it a "shameful incident" and asked society "to work to root out the evil of rape".