A child abuse case that has gripped India for months took a tragic turn last night, with the death of an abandoned baby girl admitted to hospital covered with human bite marks.
Doctors in Delhi said the battered two-year-old, named as Baby Falak, suffered a fatal heart attack.
When a teenaged girl brought her into hospital on January 18, the child was suffering from horrific injuries including broken arms and a smashed skull.
'Miracle baby': Baby Falak, who lived through horrific injuries, five operations, two heart attacks and a case of meningitis, has lost her fight for survival
She underwent five operations in Delhi's AIIMS Hospital and was showing signs of improvement, having been taken off life support and out of intensive care before her sudden death.
Neurosurgeon Dr Deepak Aggarwal said: 'The reasons that triggered the cardiac arrest are still not known. An autopsy will be conducted on Friday and that may throw some light.'
Probe: Delhi police shown after they arrested 'foster father' Raj Kumar last month
Police investigating the case have arrested 13 people including Raj Kumar, the man accused of leaving Baby Falak with his 14-year-old girlfriend.
Kumar claims he had been acting as a foster father to the baby, whose mother is said to have left her with a woman employing her as a maid.
Delhi police say the child was passed on several times before a woman claiming to be the mother turned up at the hospital, saying Falak had fallen out of bed.
DNA tests have been carried out to determine the baby's true parentage, and sources in India are reporting that a woman from Rajasthan is the biological mother.
The 22-year-old, named as Munni, allegedly abandoned Falak at the home of a woman named as Lakshmi, a resident of Uttam Nagar.