Police in India are investigating an infanticide after a plumber found a newborn baby girl’s body clogging a toilet Friday in Kerala.
The baby girl was dead when the plumber found her inside a drain in Dr. Abdul Rehman’s office, according to the Daily Mail. Authorities estimate she was about two days old, and she died several hours before the plumber found her.
That the baby was a girl is significant. Though the perpetrator’s motivation in the case is unknown, it is possible that the baby girl was thrown away simply because she was female. Sex-selection abortions and infanticide of girls occur at an alarming rate in India.
Police said they are going through the doctor’s patient records for that day and searching for who the baby’s parents may be.
Here’s more from the report:
Dr Abdul Rehman, who runs the doctor’s clinic next to his house where the girl was found first noticed the obstruction and called in the plumbers.
According to the police, when the plumbers were trying to unblock the toilet, they noticed something which looked like a ball.
As they tried to fish it out, they were shocked to see a tiny head pop up in front of them.
Upon further inspection they found the body of the newborn, her placenta still attached, was stuck in the duct.
The police suspect that her parents brought the girl to the clinic on pretext of consultation and flushed the baby down the toilet.
“Investigations are underway. We are analyzing the records, but we haven’t been able to identify her parents yet,” police told NDTV.
Police said they sent the baby’s body to Thrissur medical college for closer examination.
Researchers estimate about 12 million girls are missing in India just because of abortion. Many who make it outside of the womb are subjected to neglect, abuse and even infanticide and other forms of violence.
The discrimination and abuses against women have led to a huge population crisis in the Asian country. The 2011 census data showed there were 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under age 7, according to the BBC. In some parts of the country, the population imbalance was even worse. For example, in the Indian state of Tiruvannamalai, men outnumbered women at a ratio of 1,000 to 878.
According to Al Jazeera, a recent report from the Indian Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation predicted an even greater gender imbalance in the next two decades, dropping from 1,000 boys to 904 girls by 2021 to 898 by 2031.
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In late 2016, a government report suggested that India’s rising income levels are not helping to protect girls from abortion and infanticide.
Indian government leaders have been trying to crack down on the discriminatory practices in different ways. Sex-selection abortions and tests to determine the baby’s sex are illegal in India. In 2015, some of the nation’s leaders also put together creative social campaigns to promote the value of girls and discourage gender discrimination.