The infant girl born to an 11-year-old gangrape survivor in Rajkot passed away on the morning of 18 April. The child was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at birth and doctors had stated that it will not survive her spinal deformity for long.
The 11-year-old mother, who was repeatedly gangraped for over eight months by her neighbours, gave birth to the pre-mature baby in a Rajkot Hospital on 17 March. The newborn was paralysed from waist down, and the rape survivor and her family did not take custody of the child as doctors said the newborn wouldn’t live for long.
A Tragic Fate
The child was brought to Rajkot Civil Hosipital for a check-up on Wednesday morning when she died. A source in the police department told The Quint, “We received a call saying that the baby of the minor rape victim has died. We immediately rushed to the hospital to complete the formalities.”
When asked whether the family and mother of the baby was informed about her death, the sources said, “There was no point in informing them since they had already refused to take the child's custody when she was born. The family was not present when the last rites of the infant were performed.”
"The baby girl expired on Wednesday morning at KT Children’s Hospital in Rajkot. She was brought to the hospital in the morning hours for medical check up as she had some health issue and she soon passed away. Her postmortem was done and her last rites have also been performed. The Balashram has a tie-up with a leading super specialty hospital in Rajkot, but the doctor there had asked the Balashram to continue the child’s treatment at the civil hospital and said that he was available for all emergencies." - Dr Dipak Pipaliya, member of Rajkot district Child Welfare Committee
After the child was born she was immediately rushed to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, where doctors took the decision to not operate upon her as it will not improve her chances of survival. She was the kept under the care of Kathiwar Balashram in Rajkot. The Quint had recently visited the Balashram to check on the little girl. A few days ago. the child was doing well, although her spine could be seen protruding from her back with no skin to cover it.
Rape Survivor Resumes School
Meanwhile, the 11-year-old rape survivor has resumed school and even attended her final term exams.
"She seems to be fine and has started attending school; she even appeared for her class VII exams. She often comes to my house and watches television." - Jignesh Rathod, Rape Survivor’s Uncle
The rape survivor’s mother, Geeta Vimal Damji also spoke to The Quint. “Yes, she has resumed school. The school authorities asked us to send her to appear for her exams. In between, I had taken her once to the Balashram to visit the little girl,” she said.
However, she did not elaborate on the mental state of the rape survivor when she met her new born daughter for the first time. Damji’s daughter was raped by six of her neighbours. “We have received Rs 1 lakh compensation from the government. As and when the case proceeds and concludes we will get another Rs 2 lakh as compensation,” was all she said.
Chargesheet Not Filed
Sources in the Rajkot police department told The Quint about the progress in the case.
"We are yet to file a chargesheet in the court. Though all the six victims were medically examined, we are yet to send their samples for tests (saliva, semen, blood and pubic hair) to the FSL. Samples of three accused – Vijanand Maiyad, Govind Sakariya and Arvind Kubavat – are yet to be collected."
According to the police department, the chargesheet will be filed by the end of the 90-day mandated period as the department is swamped with other criminal cases.
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