After a 20-day search, the Delhi Police have finally traced and brought to Delhi the mother of the seriously injured two-year-old baby. They say she is a victim of human trafficking.
The baby, battling for life in the AIIMS trauma centre since January 18, has two siblings - a five-year-old brother and a three-year-old sister - and they're both missing.Munni, who was found in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan where she was living with her second husband, identified the baby from a photograph.
"We are treating the mother as a victim and not as an accused," said Chhaya Sharma, DCP (south).
"She was tricked into a second marriage by three women who promised to take good care of her children."
Two of the women have been arrested.
Munni, 22, is a resident of Muzaffarpur in Bihar. Five years after she married Mohammad Shah Hussain, an alleged criminal, he abandoned Munni and their three children in June 2011.
Aware of her situation, a local, identified as Shankar, told her he could help her remarry.
Shankar, part of a gang involved in trafficking women to states where men struggle to find brides because of skewed sex ratio, put her in touch with Laxmi, a resident of southwest Delhi's Uttam Nagar.
Laxmi convinced Munni into coming to the Capital in August 2011 with her children, said Sharma.
She told Munni if she would insist on keeping the children, it would be difficult for her to marry. She told Munni to come back for them once she settled in with her new husband, the DCP said.
Laxmi gave the two-year-old baby to Rajkumar, the "boyfriend" of the 14-year-old girl who brought the toddler to AIIMS.
The teenager confessed to beating up the baby, who has severe head injuries, broken arms, burnt cheeks and human bite marks on her body, in a fit of rage after Rajkumar, a taxi driver who is on the run, abandoned her.
The other two children, said police, were given away to "people from other states" and they were trying to find them. Laxmi and Kanta Choudhry, a Delhi resident, have been arrested. Their accomplice, identified as Saroj, is absconding.