Needle Abuse On Purulia’s ‘Battered’ Infant: ‘A Rare Vicious Phenomenon’


Kolkata: Among an array of psychological disorders, doctors have finally zeroed down on the one which resulted in irreparable damage to an infant soul inflicted by Sanatan Thakur. Needles being the harmful tools here, the infant battles for life in a city hospital.

The child is reportedly suffering from ‘Battered Child Syndrome or Battered Baby Syndrome’. In medical terminology, it refers to non-accidental injuries sustained by a child as a result of physical abuse, usually from the adult caregiver’s end. Mostly prevalent in the Western nations, this disorder can result in the child exhibiting emotional and behavioral distress. Physical damage includes cuts, bruises or major strike at sensitive body parts. Even sexual abuse amounting to rape can be found in few instances.

শরীরে সূচ ঢুকিয়ে শিশু নির্যাতন পৃথিবীতেই বিরল বলছেন চিকিৎসকরা

But in a striking contrast to the common symptoms, the insertion of multiple needles in the infant girl’s  body is the rarest of the rare. State doctors are still clueless as to how the disorder gained prominence here.

The abuser who resorts to merciless damaging, can be traced down to single parenthood, broken homes which result in emotional turmoil as kids. The stress incurred coupled with the social anxieties pose as a risk factor for the children. Often they become victims of abuse themselves and fail to realize that abuse is not an appropriate reprimand. Mostly these children grow up to impose such miseries later in life.

But how do the abusers mutilate a child’s physical well being:

  • Tormenting emotional behavior
  • Ignored basic minimum needs
  • Cigarette burns in body, bite marks
  • Bruises or Choke marks around the neck
  • Broken limbs as a result of twisting
  • Sexual abuse, may amount to rape

The victimized child can face depression and anxiety disorders in his later life. Substance abuse can also be found in few cases. The infant from Purulia has been subjected to internal medical examinations. However, the doctor vaguely conclude that she might not perform some bodily functions later in life.

The diagnosis of this syndrome needs quick response and isolation from the abuser to prevent further harm. Both psychological and physical healing is recommended for the ‘battered’ child. Purulia’s three and a half year old infant, currently recuperating in the city’s SSKM hospital, has been a victim of the heinous mental distortions of Thakur.

The symptoms first come to the notice of Dr. Dinabandhu Sahana, a child specialist based in Purulia’s Sub divisional hospital who examined the infant. Fresh scars and scratches prompted him to do an X-Ray. A startling revelation later, the needle piercing was enlisted as a rare phenomenon even by Kolkata based child specialist Joydeb Roy. He stated that that this disorder can be categorized, but all indicate severe abuse.

The detection of the syndrome in the Indian demographics have raised concerns among the doctors. While the girl stays close to the claws of death, it throws light on the pertinent issue of child sex abuse which remain masked, in this instance, where the mother chose to remain shut after repeated assaults. The issue has also thrown light on how abusers seek solace in causing organic injuries and suffer from a psychological malice which needs to be addressed.

Reported By: Manab Guha

Edited By: Ahana Sen Gupta