Her parents got to know about the child’s pregnancy when she complained of stomach ache.(Representative image)
Her parents got to know about the child’s pregnancy when she complained of stomach ache.(Representative image)

10-yr-old Chandigarh rape victim told her C-section was surgery to remove stone

The 10-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her maternal uncle, a hotel worker, repeatedly over seven months.
By Tanbir Dhaliwal | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON AUG 17, 2017 09:15 PM IST

The 10-year-old rape victim gave birth to a girl at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here at 9.22am on Thursday.

Both the mother and newborn are in good health.The newborn was shifted to the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU). The newborn is premature, and weighs less than 2.5 kg as the delivery took place at 35 weeks. But she is fine,” said a hospital source. The delivery was done via Caesarean section, scheduled from 9am to 11am.

“The child is too young for a normal delivery. Her pelvic bones are not strong enough to push the baby and she doesn’t have the stamina to bear labour pain,” a doctor said.

According to sources, the girl has been told that she had a stone in her stomach that had to be removed. The Supreme Court had last month refused to allow the rape victim to undergo an abortion due to risk to her life.

A division bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and justice DY Chandrachud turned down the plea after the report of a medical board, set up by Chandigarh’s Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) on the court’s orders to examine the pregnant child, warned that an abortion would risk the girl’s life.

“In view of the recommendation made by medical board, we are satisfied it would not be in the interest of girl and neither to foetus who is 32 weeks old. We decline to terminate pregnancy,” the court said.

ALSO READ | Parents of 10-yr-old rape victim refuse to see face of daughter’s newborn

The order came on a PIL by advocate Alok Srivastava, who moved the top court after a plea for the medical termination of pregnancy was refused by a district court in Chandigarh on July 18. He said rape victim’s body was not ready for childbirth.

The girl’s pregnancy was only discovered recently after her parents took her to hospital when she complained of stomach pain. They discovered that the girl had been repeatedly raped by her uncle over seven months. The girl’s family hails from Nepal and has been staying in a servant quarter in Chandigarh.

Who looks after newborn?

The infant is in the hospital’s care until doctors find her healthy enough to be discharged. After that, the Child Welfare Committee will be the custodian as the family has decided to give up the child for adoption, legally known as surrender.

The child will be kept at Aashiana, the state adoption agency, for two months after which the state will start the process of adoption. Instructions have been given to district child protection unit to take over the case for the process of surrender.

Finding a family

The girl’s parents will be educated about applying for surrender under the Juvenile Justice Act. “Usually, we counsel the family 4-5 times. But in this case since the parents have already given in writing that they do not want to keep the newborn, we will counsel them about the process,” says Neil Roberts, the committee chairperson.

He says the deed for surrender will be signed on a stamp paper. Once the child is declared legally free for adoption, details, including the certificate and medical report, are uploaded on the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) website. This website has details of children up for adoption and parents who want to adopt the child.

Online matching takes place, where details of children are sent to selected parents according to their demands. They are given 48 hours to confirm. Once they confirm, the case goes to the district court via a specialised adoption agency. The moment the case goes to court, the child can be handed over to parents under pre-adoptive foster care.

The court takes three to five months. “In this case, we are hopeful that the child will get foster parents in less than a year, as many families want newborns irrespective of the gender,” Roberts says.

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