Asked to get milk, father smashes child’s head against a wall

File photo of AIIMS trauma centre

File photo of AIIMS trauma centre  

17-month-old is fighting for his life at AIIMS trauma centre


His tiny body smashed repeatedly against the wall by his father, 17-month-old Vishnu* is now breathing attached to a ventilator and fighting for his life, after this second assault in less than 15 days.

The child has been in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) trauma centre for the past seven days, and was brought unconscious to the hospital on the night of December 28. The incident occured after Vishnu’s mother asked his father to get milk for the child.

“The child had suffered extensive head injuries and was not conscious when he was brought to us. He has been brutally assaulted, and in case he survives, there are chances of life-long medical complications. The child is also anaemic and malnourished. We are trying our best to ensure that he gets the best medical care possible,” said Dr. Deepak Gupta, Professor-Neurosurgery. Vishnu is currently under his care.

Frequently abusive

Standing outside the ICU on the third floor of the AIIMS Trauma Centre on Monday, Vishnu’s mother, 25-year-old Asha*, says her husband, a daily wage earner, is addicted to drugs and frequently abusive at home.

“That night, I asked him to bring some milk for Vishnu and some rice for my two girls. He lost his temper, picked up the boy and smashed him repeatedly against the wall. I snatched him after his father hit him thrice against the wall and ran out. My son’s face was covered in blood and his body went limp. I feared the worst. A passer-by helped us reach the hospital,” said Ms. Asha.

Without any source of income — she begs at Nehru Place to feed her children — Ms. Asha is worried about how she will take care of her son after he is discharged.

“This is the second time he has assaulted the child in less than 15 days. Earlier, he picked up the child and dropped him on the floor. I am scared what will happen when it’s time to go home,’’ she said, adding that she was not sure of the father’s whereabouts at the moment.

“My mother-in-law called me to say that we should not come home as her son is waiting to kill me too,” she said.

Sister prays

Meanwhile, standing alongside her mother, Vishnu’s 6-year-old sister said: “My brother is inside the big room in the hospital. After he gets better, we will go home. I am praying for him everyday. Today, we will light a candle and pray for him.’’

The sister, too, said it was her father who had assaulted Vishnu. “Papa beat him up and smashed him against the wall,” she said, adding, “But now he will be fine. We are with good people here.”

Oblivious to their distress, Vishnu is struggling to breathe without assistance. “We cannot say how the case is going to progress. The child is very ill,” said a senior doctor looking after Vishnu.

*The names have been changed to protect their identity.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:45:56 AM |

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