Barrackpore, Dec. 2: A Nadia woman apparently undergoing psychiatric treatment threw her 18-month-old daughter from a running train today.
The girl, who fell on a soft patch of land near the tracks, was rescued by residents of a shanty and taken to a government hospital. She had injuries on her head. Doctors said the girl was critical.
According to railway police, who have arrested the 35-year-old wife of a lottery seller in Kalyani, the woman gave three versions of what prompted her to throw away her child.
“First, she said goddess Kali had instructed her in dream to throw away her daughter. The woman, who has another daughter, also blamed repeated taunts by her in-laws. Then, she cited financial inability for the upkeep of two daughters,” a government railway police officer said.
Purnima Saha’s husband Krishna Saha said the woman had left home around 7am telling him that she was going to the Kali temple in Tarapith, which she visits every month.
He, however, declined comment when asked about Purnima’s treatment.
Purnima, whose elder daughter studies in Class IX, boarded Naihati-bound local from Kalyani. In Naihati, 16km from her home, she took a train for Krishnagar. According to co-passengers, as the train left Naihati, she rose from her seat, stood near the door for a few minutes with her daughter in her arms, and then threw her out.
“We were taken aback. It was least expected. I could not believe that a woman would eventually throw out the baby of a running train,” said Pronab Pal, who works at a security guard office in Kalyani.
Purnima was caught by passengers who pulled her towards the seats thinking she would jump off, too.
When the train stopped at the next station, Halishahar, 10 minutes later, she was handed over to the GRP. The railway police in Naihati later took her into custody and charged her with murder.
Doctors at Naihati State General Hospital, where the 18-month-old girl was taken to, said the child was critical.
“She suffered multiple injuries in both her hands and head. She also lost a lot of blood and has been kept under observation. But she continues to be critical,” said a doctor who attended her.
Hospital authorities said they would do a CT scan to assess the damage caused by the head injury.
Utpal Naskar, the superintendent of railway police of Sealdah division, said: “We are interrogating her. She has given multiple versions. Her brother told us that she is mentally unstable and have been undergoing psychiatric treatment.”
Purnima’s brother confirmed that the woman was undergoing treatment at NRS hospital in Calcutta because of depression.
The cause of her depression could not be immediately ascertained as her in-laws and her husband declined comments on the matter.