Falak laid to rest; docs bid tearful adieu

Two-year-old baby Falak was buried at a graveyard in Darya Ganj area of central Delhi after her body was handed over to her mother Munni Khatoon on Friday evening.

Falak, who was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre on January 18 with severe head injuries, broken arms, bite marks all over the body and cheeks branded with hot iron, had passed away on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

“A post-mortem was conducted in the presence of a Sub-Divisional Magistrate and the body was handed over to her mother at around 4:30 pm. She was later buried according to her family’s religion at a Darya Ganj graveyard,” a senior police official said. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) was the earlier legal guardian of the baby.

Dr Deepak Agrawal, a neurosurgeon at AIIMS Trauma Centre, who was personally looking after Falak since she came to the hospital, said that the preliminary autopsy report did not reveal the actual cause of her death.

“Falak died of cardiac arrest, but the actual reason is yet to be ascertained. No abnormalities were found in the autopsy. Her tissues have been sent to the pathology laboratory for further investigation,” Dr Aggarwal said, adding that the pathology report would take seven to 10 days to come.

The doctor further highlighted that the two-year-old had suffered two heart attacks within the first week of her admission to the hospital.

“Right now we can only speculate. It is possible that the previous two heart attacks had weakened her heart and thus she succumbed to the third," Dr Aggarwal said. The pathology report will help the doctors learn if the death could have been prevented.

The doctors had earlier expected that Falak could be discharged after she was taken out of the intensive care unit on March 2. She was recovering, though she was kept under high dependency care.

A nurse was present with her all the time, who would take her around. Falak had started to cry and move her eyelids, which was seen as a major breakthrough in her treatment. “She was recovering so well that we could have discharged her 10 days ago if we knew where to send her,” Dr Aggarwal said.

Meanwhile, after the death, the police will add charges under Section 317 (abandonment of child under 12 years, by parent or person having care of it) of the Indian Penal Code  in ongoing case against all the persons responsible for Falak’s battered state, including her mother Munni.

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