DISTRESSING images of a year-old boy clinging to his mother’s chest as she lies motionless along the railway tracks have been making their rounds on social media.
According to several news reports in India, the incident took place on Wednesday in the Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh. The boy, according to Hindustan Times, cried as he tried to shake his mother awake, and even tried to breastfeed.
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The report said the woman could have fallen off the train or been hit by one. It said her wounds suggest she fell on the back of her head and that a concussion and bleeding likely killed her, although not immediately.
It is not known how long she had lain there before her body was found.
The report said residents in the area discovered her at 6am Wednesday morning and immediately informed the railway police.
Before the woman’s body was removed, however, curious onlookers shot videos and snapped pictures of the distressing scene and posted them on social media.
“She died before people found her… the child wasn’t injured,” railway policeman Anil Marawi said.
“She was injured but probably conscious… opened a biscuit packet and gave some to the child. She breastfed her child to ensure he survives.”
An India Today report said when mother and son were taken to the hospital in Damoh town, officials refused to admit the child because he could not pay the admission fee of INR10 (US$0.15).
A ward boy by the name of Tarun Tiwari eventually decided to pay the fee for the infant. The child has since been sent to a children’s home while his mother’s body is undergoing an autopsy.
The Damoh child welfare committee said it will publish notices on the boy so his family members could come forward.
Police have yet to identify the boy’s mother.