Among the thousands of people who took the Metro on the morning of May 30 was a 19-year-old woman travelling with a dead eightmonth-old baby in her arms.The night before, she had been subjected to unimaginable barbarism. She was raped by three men -the driver and two “co-passengers“ of a shared auto she had got into with her baby girl, as reported by TOI on June 6. She had then watched in horror as one of the men flung her baby on the median verge of a road in Gurgaon’s Manesar, next to the spot where she was raped.

In a place so desolate, there was no one to ask for help. It was past 2am when the men fled and she waited till dawn, holding the motionless baby in her arms, before she got an auto to her in-laws’ place in Old Gurgaon. There, a doctor told her the child had died.

She didn’t believe him. Accompanied by her father-inlaw, she set out for Tughlakabad, where her parents live.They boarded a Metro and visited another doctor who also told her the baby had died.With the body in her arms, she returned to Gurgaon, this time to file a police case.

The unnerving account of how helpless a woman can be in cities teeming with millions is contained in the FIR that has been lodged at Manesar police station. The bereaved mother and rape survivor, according to the FIR, is just 19 years old, and not 23 as police sources had earlier said.

(Our report on June 6, based on police versions, had said the woman’s attackers had thrown the baby out of the auto. But as details began to emerge on Tuesday, and we spoke to the woman’s husband, accounts of cold-blooded brutality unfolded, far worse than what was initially believed).

Late evening on May 29, she had left in a huff for her inlaws’ place in Old Gurgaon, taking her baby girl with her, after a fight with her neighbours. She hadn’t wanted to spend the night in the house in avillage near IMT Manesar.

On NH-8, she got a lift from a truck driver. But she got off minutes little later as the man seemed drunk and was harassing her. She then waved down a shared auto headed towards Gurgaon. There were two men in the passenger seats. It had seemed like any other auto ride till the driver suddenly took a U-turn on the highway.

The two men started ma king sexual advances. The baby was crying but that only irritated them, made them more aggressive. They then drove to a vacant plot where she was dragged out of the auto.One of the men had snatched her daughter away and covered her mouth. The men took turns to rape her here. When they were ready to leave, one of the men threw the crying baby at the concrete median verge of the road. “I became numb then. All I remember is seeing my child’s head hitting the road divider,“ the FIR says, quoting the 19-year-old.

“My family has been shattered,“ the woman’s husband told TOI. “I was mourning my daughter when my wife revealed she had been gangraped. I want the police to make the arrests quickly