Born into indignity in the darkness of the night, her death was an ignominy to be borne by Calcutta’s collective conscience.
Rejected and discarded by her parents in a drain by the roadside, she didn’t survive the night. But her death was even more horrible than her hapless life — humanity turned a blind eye as crows pecked away at her tiny, lifeless body.
“It is a sad day for all of us. I feel ashamed that no one from among the passersby who witnessed the grisly scene came forward. No one even spread a piece of cloth on the tiny body and make its exit a little dignified,” said A.K. Jana, officer-in-charge of Cossipore police station.
“They chose to call us, and we removed the body, but it lay exposed to the crows for a long time,” said Jana.
The partially mutilated body of the unidentified girl child, whom the residents of 5/H/4, Dum Dum Road discovered around 8.30 am on Tuesday, was taken by police to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital. The infant was declared brought dead. The police then sent the little corpse for post-mortem to NRS Medical College and Hospital.
“This is a residential area and the only word to describe the local residents is bhadralok. Yet, no one among them made an effort to remove the body or protect it from the crows,” Jana complained.
Police said the baby had been abandoned, wrapped in paper, in a drain and it could not be ascertained whether she had died before she was dumped.
“There are three possibilities,” said a senior officer of Cossipore thana. “The parents could have dumped the newborn because she was a girl. The second possibility is that the family was poor and chose to discard the child they could not afford. Or, maybe, the baby was stillborn.”
Police have no clue about the identity of the parents. They suspect the child was delivered some time on Monday night at either Peerless hospital, which is located further down Dum Dum Road, or at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital.
There is also a possibility that the baby was not born in a hospital. Perhaps the parents were on their way to a hospital when the mother went into labour, an officer surmised.