The severely injured two-year-old baby struggling for life in an intensive care unit of the AIIMS trauma centre is a victim of a vicious cycle of abuse.
The 14-year-old, who brought her to the centre on January 18 and claimed to be the mother, has confessed to beating up the baby in a fit of rage and frustration.
The teenager fled home in May 2011 to escape an abusive father and ended up with a boyfriend, who abused her sexually. The 22-year-old man, who is on the run, is married and has family in Mumbai.
HT reported Thursday that the baby has serious head injuries, which have caused permanent brain damage, her cheeks are burnt, arms broken and has had two cardiac arrests in the last four days.
“The girl admitted to biting the baby and beating her up as well,” said a source in the Child Welfare Committee.
The teenager, who is now in a juvenile home, was presented before the panel when her version of events raised suspicion.
The baby suffered head injuries — which needed immediate surgery — after she slipped through her arms in the bathroom, the girl said.
A resident of Sangam Vihar in south Delhi, the teenager said she was abused by her father and relatives after her mother died. She was a toddler then.
“Her father packed her off to an orphanage in central Delhi, where she spent six years,” said the source.
The father brought her back after he remarried. The abuse started again. In May 2011, she fled home and went to live with a woman relative in Munirka, who, too, didn’t treat her well.
Desperate, she turned to Rajkumar, a taxi driver, who used to visit the woman. In September, they moved to Dwarka and started living as a couple. Two weeks ago they shifted to Mahipalpur.
"It was Rajkumar, who brought the baby three months ago," said a police officer, who didn't wish to be identified.
Police suspect the baby's parents gave her away to the woman in Munrika who passed her on to Rajkumar.
"We suspect he handed over the baby to the girl, who in a fit of rage thrashed her," said a police officer.
The officer said the girl doesn't know anything about the baby's parents. A case of kidnap and rape has been registered against him.