Violence and brutality against women, girls and babies shows no signs of abating, and this newspaper found out yesterday that a 13-month-old child was hospitalised after allegedly being subjected to beatings at the hands of her father and grandmother 12 days ago for merely being a girl.
The child was admitted to the hospital attached to D Y Patil Medical College and Research Centre in PCMC area on December 20 with multiple fractures and extensive bruises all over her body.
She is currently battling for life at the hospital and while doctors say her injuries indicate she was beaten, her father, mother and grandmother claim the child was injured in a fall.
Names of the child’s alleged tormentors, who hail from Thergaon, were withheld due to the pending investigation.
However, according to child’s maternal grandfather, his granddaughter’s biological father married a second time after the first wife bore him two girl children. He claims the child was severely thrashed by her grandmother and biological father for being the third girl child.
A doctor from the hospital said, on condition of anonymity, that the child’s mother was overheard telling social workers that she was being pressurised by her husband and in-laws to lie.
Hospital staffers claim the child’s mother had initially kept mum about the facts, but revealed the truth after her daughter was shifted to a ward upon admission. No action has been taken against the child’s alleged tormentors, as the mother refuses to give a statement against her mother in law and husband.
The doctors treating the child claim that without special treatment, the chances of the child walking again are remote. Doctors said the child had fractured both the legs and the right hand, and was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit on December 20. The parents claim that their child had fallen down from a height, which raised suspicions among doctors.
Foul play suspect
Another doctor said on condition of anonymity that they suspected foul play right from the start as the injuries the child had could not have been sustained from a fall.
“The baby has major fractures to both legs and has several wounds on her body. The injuries were not due to any accident,” said a nurse from the paediatric ward of the hospital, requesting anonymity.
The baby’s father said “Many relatives and even small children used to carry her. We believe she may have slipped out of someone’s arms and sustained injuries. The baby never cried, so we neglected the matter. Only when the baby began crying a lot, we consulted a local doctor, who prescribed some medicine. When we noticed swelling in the swellings, we approached the hospital and learned about the fractures.”
When the child’s mother was questioned, she said that what her husband had said was true.
The hospital has registered a medico-legal case when the child was brought in, but her mother’s response is not supportive enough to file a case.
“We asked the mother what had happened and she said her baby had fallen off the bed. The maternal grandfather claims this was no accident, but the doing of the child’s paternal grandmother,” said CD Anbhule of Wakad police chowky.
When contacted, Dr (Retd Brig) Amarjeet Singh, dean of the hospital said he was not aware of the case and said he would look into the mater before commenting.