Saturday, September 22, 2012

Female infanticide: Fathers are the biggest risks to girl infants (Bengaluru, India)

And unpleasant and politically incorrect truth....

Female infanticide: Fathers biggest enemies of girl child

Sep 22, 2012 - Bala Chauhan | DC
| Bengaluru

Next month, she would have completed one year. But that was not to be. On September 18, the 11-month-old baby girl reportedly died under mysterious circumstances at her home in Bengaluru North when both her parents were present.

She is reportedly the fourth victim – all aged below one year – of female infanticide in the city since December 2011.

The child was buried the next day, but now the body will be exhumed and a postmortem conducted to establish the cause of her mysterious death after her mother lodged a complaint against her husband for allegedly killing their first child.

“She was normal on Tuesday morning and had also taken her breakfast. Her mother left her in the bedroom and went outside to warm the water for her bath.

When she returned, she found the child unconscious and bleeding from the nose. The child’s father was present in the house at that time.

The child was rushed to the hospital where she was declared brought dead. The police have registered an FIR against the father,” an official source said.

Official sources said the baby had gone through enough trauma before she was reportedly murdered. A few months ago she had to be rushed to the hospital with broken ribs.

“She was twice admitted; once to the ESI Hospital, Rajajinagar and the second time to M.S. Ramaiah Hospital where the doctors reportedly attributed her injuries to external causes and not because of any constitutional weakness or congenital bone disorder,” said the source.

All the four victims of female infanticide were born to young mothers aged between 17 and 19 and had fathers, who allegedly were obsessed with boy babies.

In December 2011, a young couple admitted their unconscious nine-month-old baby girl to Bangalore Baptist Hospital. The child died within three days of admission.

On April 7, three-month-old Neha Afreen was admitted to Bowring Hospital with multiple bite marks on her thighs and buttocks reportedly inflicted by her father Umar Farooq.

The next day, she was shifted to Vani Vilas Hospital. On April 11, she died of cardiac arrest. The K.G. Halli police arrested Farooq on murder charges. He later allegedly confessed to his crime and admitted he always wanted a son.

On August 20, a 20-day-old girl was reportedly killed by her father C. Nandeesh in Haadihosahalli village, near Thymagondlu in Nelamangala taluk.

Nandeesh, who was angry that his wife had delivered a girl child, fed the baby donkey’s milk laced with poison, which resulted in her death. He has been arrested.

Condemning violence against children, Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee – II, Dr. Meena Jain, said that there should be “zero tolerance” for any kind of violence towards children, especially female infanticide. “Each child has a right to life; they cannot be victims of domestic violence.

These are just few cases that have come to light. There must be many more children who are being victimised. The accused should be punished. There should be greater awareness on the girl child in society,” she said.

Following the incident where a Group-D staffer at the Vani Vilas Hospital was caught selling a newborn baby, the hospital authorities are planning to beef up security to prevent such instances in future.

“The incident took place after the patient was discharged from the hospital. However, we are planning to increase the number of security guards to ensure that such incidents do not recur. Currently, we have 44 security guards who work in three shifts of 13 each. We are short of another 15-20 guards.

A request has been sent to the hospital dean regarding this”, said Hospital Medical Superintendent Mr Somegowda. Police, on the other hand, suspect that the arrested accused Rita could be behind a baby selling racket.

“Despite a number of CCTV cameras at the hospital, such an incident has been reported. We are investigating to see if the accused is involved in any such past offences”, said a senior police official.

Earlier, the Vani Vilas Hospital had installed an electronic article surveillance system, would be employed and bands tied around the newborn baby’s wrist to ensure that any newborn cannot be taken out of the hospital till the mother is also discharged.

However, the system was later discontinued. Mr Somegowda said, “We discontinued the practice because nearly 20 per cent of the newborn babies were suffering from rashes on their wrist. Now we take a scan of the baby’s foot as a security measure”, he said.