A tribal girl from Palghar was referred to Mumbai after her newborn was detected with a rare defect- no anal opening-three days after birth. A complaint was registered with Bandra police after doctors in Mumbai realised the baby’s mother was a minor aged 14.
On Saturday, the three-week-old baby died of septicaemia. The Palghar police, to whom the complaint has now been transferred, have collected DNA samples of the baby to confirm the identity of the accused. A case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been registered. The police claimed the accused is also a minor. “We will be conducting a test to confirm his age,” a police officer said.
Draped in a shawl, the teenage girl claims her first-ever visit to Mumbai was not the kind she expected. Her mother, a farm worker, said, “My husband and I work on someone’s farm and are out the entire day…”
The family realised the 14-year-old was pregnant in the fifth month when she kept vomiting. “When she delivered, we asked the boy’s family for marriage but they refused,” the mother said.
The minor delivered at a primary health centre on July 25 where doctors failed to notice any anal opening. Three days after delivery, the baby’s stomach bloated and he started vomiting. A paediatrician detected that the newborn had no anal opening to pass stools. He was referred to the Mumbai hospital on July 27. “We spent Rs 2,500 to get here. I always wanted to come to Mumbai, but not like this,” the teenage mother says.
A colostomy was performed to redirect the intestine to pass stools from the side of the abdomen. “The baby was kept on ventilator as his condition was critical. We weaned him off ventilator in between but his condition worsened and we put him back on ventilator support,” a doctor said.
Doctors said the baby was diagnosed with the defect late which spread infection in his body.
On Sunday, the minor returned to Palghar after cremating her three-week old baby. “In such cases we have to counsel the teenager on how to cope with pregnancy or the baby. Since they are young, they easily get scared,” a psychiatrist said.