NEW DELHI: The body of baby Falak was Friday handed over her mother Munni by the AIIMS for the last rites of the battered two-year-old who died of cardiac arrest Thursday night after a grim battle with life for nearly 60 days, doctors said.
"We had received a letter from the child welfare committee (CWC) saying that the baby's mother Munni will be performing the baby's last rites, which were performed at around 4 p.m.," Deepak Agrawal, AIIMS assistant professor of neurosurgery, told IANS.
Falak's death has left a void at AIIMS as doctors and the other staff had become attached to her.
"The atmosphere is very grim in the hospital because all the staff was emotionally attached to her," he added.
The ICU ward where the baby had been admitted for treatment for nearly 60 days had become the station for memories of the child.
"In the last 60 days, we had become very attached to the baby. Even those who were not in the team monitoring her often came to ask about her," said a nurse from the team.
The toddler had been battling for survival at AIIMS since she admitted with a fractured skull, bruises and human bite marks all over her body. Falak had undergone five life-saving surgeries.
Doctors March 9 had said that her condition had improved "nicely" and that she was likely to be discharged in a week's time.
For doctors who had seen the baby come out of the series of infections in the body, it was a shock to hear of her sudden demise.
"We could sense the determination and strength the baby had shown during the course of her treatment. But somewhere the previous cardiac arrest had caused enough damage," a senior doctor from the team said.
Many feel that death was an end to the days of agony she had been going through.
"We used to worry about what would happen even she survives. Life or death - both were harsh for her," a nurse added.
Falak died late Thursday of cardiac arrest, a doctor said.
"The baby died of cardiac arrest. She suffered cardiac arrest at 9 p.m. and was declared dead at 9.40 p.m last night," Agrawal added.
The police have arrested 10 people in the case including the key accused - Rajkumar Gupta, the man alleged to have handed over Falak to his 14-year-old girlfriend who brought the baby to the hospital Jan 18 claiming to be her mother.
Another woman-- Pratima has also been arrested in the case. She was part of the human trafficking racket that exploited Rajkumar's teenaged girlfriend.
Pratima had got Falak from Laxmi and gave the child to Rajkumar who in turn handed her over to the teen aged girl whom he allegedly sexually abused.
Laxmi, who is also under arrest, had befriended Munni - Falak's biological mother - and persuaded her to leave her abusive husband and re-marry. She had arranged for a second husband for the 22-year-old Munni, and also kept her three children including Falak with herself and subsequently gave them away.