Battered, bitten, burnt and abandoned, the baby girl fighting for life in the neurosurgery ICU of the AIIMS trauma centre on Friday opened her eyes for the first time in 10 days. She moved her neck, arms and legs and was even taken off the life support system.
The two-year-old, nobody’s child until this morning, got surprise ‘relatives’ as well — a couple and a woman walking in to claim she was their own. It was a claim, and remained so.
Told by AIIMS doctors to contact the Delhi Police first, they went no further.
“We consulted our forensic team that knows the legalities. They advised us to ask these people to contact us through the police,” said Dr MC Misra, head of AIIMS trauma centre.
While the baby’s condition marginally improved, the 14-year-old girl who had brought her to the hospital on January 18 told the police the child was speech-impaired. This, the police suspect, could be why the baby’s parents abandoned her.
Efforts to trace the parents picked up, with a Delhi Police team heading for Mumbai to hunt down the 14-year-old girl’s boyfriend, Rajkumar.
The girl told the police that Rajkumar, 22, brought the baby from a woman in Munirka. He disappeared in the first week of January.
The police probe is hinging on Rajkumar, who is married and has a family in Mumbai. “He seems to be the only one who knows the baby’s parents and whether she was kidnapped or abandoned,” a police officer said.
The “abusive” father of the teen, from whose clutches she fled in May 2011, too was traced.
“He lives in Govindpuri and had filed a missing complaint for his daughter. If the charges of physical abuse against him are proved, he can be arrested,” the officer said.
But the father refuted the charges. “If I had ill-treated my daughter, why would I file a missing complaint,” he told the police.
The baby was admitted to the AIIMS trauma centre with severe head injuries, broken arms, burnt cheeks and human bite marks. Her brain had been permanently damaged.
The 14-year-old girl, who had claimed to be the baby’s mother while bringing her to AIIMS, told the police she had thrashed the child in a fit of rage and suspicion.