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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Battered and beaten, baby loses battle with death

Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 15, 2012
First Published: 22:04 IST(15/3/2012) | Last Updated: 02:46 IST(16/3/2012)

After a two-month-long battle for survival at the AIIMS Trauma Centre, the battered baby died late Thursday.



"She went into cardiac arrest around 9pm. We tried to revive her for 40 minutes before realising she wasn’t coming back. We declared her dead at 9.40pm," said Dr Deepak Aggarwal of the department of neurosurgery.

An autopsy will be conducted Friday to ascertain "the actual cause of death", Dr Aggarwal said.

The two-year-old was admitted to the neurosurgery ICU on January 18 with severe head injuries, broken arms, bite and burn marks.

But what at first seemed a case of torture turned out to be a horrific case of human trafficking and sexual abuse.

The two-year-old went through all the trauma in her life anybody wouldn't have imagined in their worst nightmare - and finally could not make it.

The toddler, abandoned by her parents, found herself in the hands of a 14-year-old girl, who herself was a victim of child abuse and prostitution.

The baby was brought to the AIIMS trauma centre by the 14-year-old, who claimed to be her mother.

Police investigation revealed the baby was beaten and bitten by the 14-year-old, who got the baby from her lover Rajkumar.

The baby exchanged many hands before she finally reached the teenager. Her biological mother Munni, who was forced to abandon the child, was traced to Rajasthan.

All three, the baby, the 14-year-old and the baby's biological mother, were victims in one way or the other.

Munni was a victim of human trafficking and was sold to a man in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan for Rs. 2.7 lakh as a 'virgin bride'.

The 14-year-old girl was first abused by her father and was forced into prostitution by two of her neighbours.

Rajkumar, a driver who was already married with a five-year-old son, rescued her from a brothel in South Delhi.

Rajkumar then stayed with her at a hotel in Mahipalpur before leaving the toddler in her care and leaving for Mumbai. It was during this period, in over just five days, that she tortured the baby out of sheer frustration.

On January 31, Delhi police brought Munni from Rajasthan and reunited her with the two-year-old and her two other children.

The baby was in a critical condition when she was admitted at AIIMS and doctors initially said there were few chances of her recovering.

But later she showed signs of recovery and was taken out of the ICU on March 1.

The baby underwent five life-saving surgeries, including a shunt surgery to create a permanent passage to drain out the water accumulating in her brain.

Moved by the baby's plight, many Indians as well as people abroad had approached AIIMS with a wish to adopt her after she recovered.

Labelled as India's miracle baby, her death has shocked doctors treating her.

"She was doing fine, and we were not expecting this end after coming this far. To lose her is a big shock," said Dr MC Misra, chief, Trauma centre.

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