A baby named for the sky fights for her life after abuse and negligence

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A baby named for the sky fights for her life after abuse and negligence

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New Delhi:  Two cardiac arrests, human bites, brain damage caused possibly by being thrown against a wall - this is what a two-year-old baby in Delhi's AIIMS hospital is trying to survive in the Intensive Care Unit.

Though she is off the ventilator, doctors say the baby has improved marginally in the last few hours, but still believe she has only a 30-40 per cent chance of surviving. Three people have been detained by the Delhi Police and are reportedly being put through DNA tests to determine their links to the baby girl, who has been named Falak, meaning sky, by the staff looking after her.

The doctors monitoring baby Falak say she is a victim of the "battered baby syndrome" and is likely to have been abused by a close relative. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has promised all possible help.

The baby was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on the 18th of this month by a 15-year-old girl, who allegedly told doctors that Falak was her baby, and that her injuries were the result of a fall from her bed. "The claims made by the girl who brought this child to us do not match with the injuries seen on the child's body. So we immediately informed the police," said Dr MC Mishra, who is supervising Falak's case at the hospital.

"This is the trauma centre. We see bad cases on a daily basis but I have never seen this kind of a battered baby condition with the intention of injury," said Dr Sumit Sinha, who operated upon the two-year-old baby.

"Several individuals and organisations have come forward and offered to help with the baby but at the moment we can't say anything," added Dr Mishra.

The teen has been placed in a juvenile home, and has been interviewed at length by members of the Child Welfare Committee. She reportedly told them she has been sexually abused by a man she eloped with last year. Medical tests to determine her condition will be reported on the 31st of this month. Doctors say her abuse may have traumatized the teen into battering the baby she was looking after.

But how or why Falak was with her remains a mystery for now.

The Delhi Police believes that the teen's boyfriend got the baby from a woman he knew who in turn had been entrusted with Falak by a woman who works as a domestic helper and is possibly her biological mother. The man involved has reportedly left the city for Mumbai - he is allegedly married and has moved back in with his family there.


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