The administration in Jharkhand’s Khunti district initiated a medical and magisterial inquiry on Monday into the death of two infants at a shelter home the previous day, The Telegraph reported.
One of the deceased infants, identified as Palo Tuti, was reportedly relocated from a shelter home in Ranchi run by Missionaries of Charity that is being investigated for running an illegal adoption scam.
Deputy Development Commissioner Chand Kishore Mandal said an primary investigation indicated that the babies were malnourished. Both babies died in Khunti Sadar Hospital on Sunday, where they were being treated over the last week. “The medical inquiry headed by [Khunti] civil surgeon Vinod Oraon and the magisterial probe led by district social welfare officer Surjit Kumar will find reasons and fix responsibilities,” Mandal told The Telegraph. “Each team has three members.”
Khunti child welfare committee member Baidyanath Kumar said the government-aided Sanyog Village organisation should be held accountable. “We were not even told that the infants were being hospitalised,” he added.
The non-governmental organisation’s founder, Manjeet Pardesi, said the district officials pressurised them into taking in infants even though the shelter’s capacity was full. “Our maximum capacity is 10 infants,” Pardesi said. “We currently look after more than 35 infants. A month ago, child welfare officials transferred 12 infants from the Hinoo shelter. We have been crying hoarse that we don’t have room or resources, but to no avail. They just dump the babies here and forget.”
The shelter home’s administration claimed that its requests for the babies’ medical history were ignored. Pardesi accused the child welfare committee of hindering the process of handing over the children to their parents.