Idukki: A five-year-old child, allegedly tortured by his father and stepmother, has slipped into coma and is on ventilator support. Doctors at St John's Hospital at Kattappana in Idukki district said the child has serious head injury, a broken leg and wounds all over the body.
Doctors fear the boy may suffer from permanent brain damage even if he survives. Officials say the five-year-old will not be shifted to another hospital due to his critical condition. The government has announced full financial assistance for his medical treatment.
The boy's father Sherif and stepmother Aneesha were arrested and produced before a court in Peermedu in Idukki which remanded them to 14 days in judicial custody. The police said the boy has a brother who lives in an orphanage.
Sherif and Aneesha brought the child to the hospital a few days ago claiming the child suffered injuries from a fall while taking his bath.
But the doctors, who examined the child, immediately informed the police. Apart from being brutally beaten up causing deep injuries on the head and chin, the child's body was found to have been battered by nails.
Even as the parents have been arrested for attempt to murder, there are relatives who have flocked the hospital to claim the child. But the hospital staff has been given clear instructions by the state's child protection body not to hand over the child to anyone.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said his government may consider a separate law to check the recurrence of such crimes. The government has formed a panel to be headed by the Kerala's Additional Chief Secretary to prepare guidelines to ensure children's safety in the state.