A police team has been dispatched to Mumbai to track down Rajkumar, who is wanted in connection with the badly battered two-year-old baby girl now battling for life at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences' Trauma Centre here.

Rajkumar, a cab driver, had allegedly brought the child home about a fortnight ago, claiming that he had adopted her. He handed over the baby to the teenaged girl living with him for the past several months and went out of the city a few days ago. The girl could not take proper care of the child and is suspected to have beaten her up in frustration. She claimed to have taken the baby to the bathroom for a wash on January 18 when it fell down and suffered severe head injuries.

The victim was subsequently admitted to the Trauma Centre and the 14-year-old girl handed over to the police. Suspecting her to have assaulted the baby, the police produced her before a juvenile court. However, the court directed them to produce the girl before the Child Welfare Committee for necessary action. Subsequently the police were ordered to trace her father and identity the baby's parents.

Accordingly the police have tracked down the young girl's father to Govindpuri. “He told us that his daughter had fled from the house along with a man, probably Rajkumar,” said a police officer.

However, in her statement to the Committee the girl said she fled home as her father, who was an alcoholic, used to torture her. She went to her paternal aunt's place from where she went to Munirka and was employed by a woman. The girl claimed that Rajkumar frequented the woman's house and one day took her along and started living with her. He allegedly sexually abused her on several occasions.

For its part, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has ordered a detailed investigation into the baby girl's case and asked for a factual report from the Delhi police within a fortnight. “The act of violence cannot be ignored as a private issue. They have to be recognised as violation of human rights and a public matter,'' said NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha.

In a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Railways), the Commission has sought information about the facts and circumstances of the case; whether the accompanying 14-year-old girl has been suitably rehabilitated and psychological counselling is being provided to her; under what circumstance the girl was separated from her parents and brought to the present place; whether all those involved have been identified; status of the health and recovery of the baby and status report of the case along with investigation details.

Taking a serious view of the visuals of the injured child shown by several television channels, the Lajpat Nagar Child Welfare Committee chaired by Raaj Mangal Prasad has issued notice to the Trauma Centre seeking an explanation on how people were allowed inside the Intensive Care Unit.

“It was highly insensitive on the part of the doctor-in-charge of ICU to have allowed media persons inside and expose her unnecessarily to infection causing danger to her life. This amounts to cruelty under Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act,” said the order, adding that the showing of the baby's body parts bearing injury marks was in contravention of Section 21 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

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