Three-month-old Neha Afreen who had been battling for life since Friday after being allegedly battered by her father, died of cardiac arrest here on Wednesday.

Doctors at the Vani Vilas Hospital said that around 10.40 a.m. she suffered a cardiac arrest and died 30 minutes later.

Reshma Bano, the child's mother, vented her ire at Umar Farook, her husband, who is alleged to have assaulted the child.

“My baby was innocent, and he killed her. He's a devil and should get the strictest punishment.”

Ms. Reshma, her mother Maqbool Bi, father Abdul Karim Khan and their shocked family members were then taken to the mortuary at Victoria Hospital nearby where they struggled for privacy among the scores of TV cameras and journalists, as well as local political leaders who came to the hospital.

The child was targeted by Farook because he wanted a “boy and not a girl,” said Ms. Reshma.

When the child was admitted to the hospital, doctors said she had suffered haemorrhages in her brain and retina, and had multiple bite marks on her thighs and buttocks. Though already on ventilator support, Afreen went into a semi-comatose state on Tuesday.

R. Premalatha, Professor of Paediatrics, told The Hindu that the baby's condition deteriorated since Tuesday night after she suffered repeated convulsions, twice on Tuesday and once on Wednesday morning.

After the post-mortem the body was taken to the residence of Ms. Reshma's parents at D.J. Halli for the last rites.

Meanwhile, the K.G. Halli police converted the charges against Farook from “attempt to murder” to “murder”.

During interrogation, Farook had confessed to the crime and multiple attacks on the child in the past three months, the police said. He had been remanded in judicial custody till April 21.

Karnataka State Human Rights Commission chairman S.R. Nayak said the commission had registered a suo motu complaint on the attack and directed the police to submit a report in two months.