An eight-year-old girl, who was hospitalised in a critical condition after being attacked by unidentified people earlier this week, showed no signs of improvement on Saturday.
Doctors at the city’s JK Lone hospital believe the assailants attempted to strangle her, causing severe brain damage and rendering her comatose.
Shivdaspura station house officer Narendra Pareek said the child went missing from her home on August 8. “Her parents are daily wage labourers residing in Shivdaspura. When they returned from work that day, the child was nowhere to be seen. They found her in an under-construction building the next morning,” he added.
The girl’s brother said they initially took her to the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, but reconsidered after seeing the high amount being charged at its intensive care unit. They then took her to their village, Pipli in Tonk district, and admitted her to a hospital there.
Pareek claimed that the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital did not inform police about the case. “It was only on Friday night that the Tonk Kotwali thana briefed us, and told us that the child has been referred to Jaipur. When they reached the city, we admitted her to the JK Lone Hospital and lodged an FIR. We are trying to identify possible suspects,” he said.
Officials said the girl may have been attacked with sexual intentions, but left for dead after she fainted. “The condition of the child is extremely critical, and she has been kept on ventilator support. Her heart stopped beating on Saturday morning, and we administered CPR to revive her. She is currently in a coma due to the damage to her brain. The oxygen levels in her body depleted due to the strangulation, resulting in swelling of the brain,” said Dr Ashok Gupta, hospital superintendent.
External tests indicated that she was not sexually assaulted. “An internal examination is not possible right now because our primary concern is to save her life,” Gupta added.
State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Manan Chaturvedi visited JK Lone Hospital and spoke to the girl’s family. “I will check why the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital administration did not notify the police when the girl was first taken there. If any negligence is found, strict action will be taken against them,” said Chaturvedi.
Police commissioner Sanjay Agarwal said police have asked the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital to submit all the documents related to the child’s treatment. “The papers from the first day will be useful for the investigation, considering that there was a delay of three days in registering the FIR. We are probing the case, and more details will emerge as it progresses,” he added.
However, the management of Mahatma Gandhi Hospital denied any laxity on their part. “The child was brought to our hospital, but her parents chose to leave before we could start the treatment,” said RK Gupta, additional medical superintendent of the institution.