Her petite frame rests peacefully on a bed at DY Patil Hospital, but her condition and the questions concerning it are grave. The six-month-old was admitted to the medical institute with femoral fracture, injury to spine, swelling on private parts, and bruises around lips. Doctors treating the baby are not ready to believe that she got injured merely by slipping from a ten-year-old girl’s hands and falling to the floor.
But that is what the cops see as credulous. After a complaint by the victim’s mother, Pimpri police have detained the young neighbour on the charge of voluntarily causing grievous injuries to the child.
The infant has three siblings. Their father sells balloons and mother collects scraps to make ends meet. The case was registered late on Saturday night following meticulous efforts by social workers from the NGO Childline.
“We got information that the baby admitted to DY Patil hospital was sexually and physically abused. When we alerted the police about this, they refused to lodge a complaint, asking why we wanted to do so, when the baby’s parents didn’t seem willing,” Childline director Anuradha Sahasrabuddhe told MiD DAY.
Sahasrabuddhe confirmed that police have detained the 10-year-old neighbour. “However, the nature and extent of injuries are not in keeping with the suspect’s claims. The medical examination report shared by doctors with us mentions vulvar edema or swelling in private parts, and bruises around lips, which will not happen after merely falling from about four and a half feet,” she added, demanding a thorough investigation in light of the possibility that the victim was abused by someone other than the suspect.
Inspector Mohan Vidhate of Pimpri police station told MiD DAY the 10-year-old girl had confessed to cops that she had dropped the baby while tossing her in the air. “The girl told us that she did not intend to harm the child, and the injuries were caused by an evil spirit that had entered her (the suspect’s) body.”
According to the statement given by the victim’s mother to police, the suspect had taken the child to play with her. When they did not return even after an hour, the mother went over to check on them and found the preteen scratching the baby’s neck. After this, the suspect handed over the child to her mother. The infant was in an unconscious state and her lips had turned blue.
But contradicting this, the baby’s mother told MiD DAY that the ten-year-old girl had brought the tot back to her. “I suspect the girl had done harm to my child after taking her out to play.”
Following this, the suspect’s mother and a male relative offered to admit the child to a hospital. According to the victim’s mother, she was first taken to Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital and later shifted to DY Patil Hospital.
Speaking to MiD DAY, one of the doctors treating the baby, on the condition of anonymity, said, “It is unlikely that the child would have a femoral fracture and spine injury merely by falling from a height of four and a half feet. That also does not explain the bruises on the lips and the swelling in the private parts.”
Pimpri police have registered a case against the 10-year-old girl under section 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of IPC and section 9 (I) and 10 of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.