In a brutal infanticide case in India, a father killed a three-month-old baby girl because he was upset his wife did not give birth to the son he preferred.
Indian cultural values show preference to boys over girls and, as was the case in this incident, the father was upset his wife did not give birth to a male heir and, instead, had a girl baby for whom he would have had to have shelled out $1,800 dollars for a wedding.
CNN provides more details on the incident:
“After my delivery my husband had come to see me and the baby. He said, ‘It is a girl, why did you give birth to a girl?'” nineteen-year-old Reshma Banu said.
“For her wedding we will require a hundred thousand rupees (about US$1,800 dollars) for all the expense. If you can get that amount from your mother, then keep her, but if you can’t, then kill her,” Banu recalled her husband as saying.
She didn’t believe he meant it and was sure he would change his mind once he held his soft, bright-eyed baby girl. Three months later, her baby is dead, and her husband is under arrest, accused of beating the baby to death. Police say he confessed to the killing.
Banu’s family didn’t share the same cultural preference for a son and loved the newborn baby regardless of her gender.
Banu, whose husband is accused of killing their baby, and her parents say they always believed a baby — boy or girl — was a blessing. Her mother, Maqbool Bi, had four girls and a boy. Though the family is poor, she raised her girls with great hope for their futures.
“With all that is there in my heart, my heart breaks every time I recall what happened [to my granddaughter]. Even when I was starving I raised my children, all four of them. I used to pray to God to save me from seeing any of my children die before my own eyes. My children should succeed in life. They should make us proud,” she said.
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Banu now lives with her parents in a tiny two-room home filled to a bursting point with family members.She will spend her life struggling with the fact that she never got the chance to raise her first child because the baby was born a girl. With tears welling in her eyes, Banu said, “She had just come into the world. She was like a flower bud, and he killed her. I lost my daughter. What can be worse than this?”
Infanticides are commonplace in India along with sex-selection abortions. Because both are technically illegal, offenders have come up with grisly methods of hiding their crimes.
In May, a newspaper in India reported doctors in one city are so desperate to hide evidence that they are doing sex-selection abortions that they are feeding the remains of aborted girl babies to dogs.
Some physicians in the city of Beed, India are engaging in the practice, according to India Today, which spoke with Varsha Deshpande of Lek Ladki Abhiyan, an NGO working against the practice. Maharashtra’s Public Health Minister Suresh Shetty also admitted to the newspaper that he had heard of reports of the practice taking place.
Beed is the location of an abortion clinic that was responsible for killing a woman in a failed abortion. The husband and wife doctor team who run the medical clinic where she obtained the abortion face criminal charges.