A nine-month-old baby girl was murdered by her own father in Assam’s Chirang district because the father was unhappy about having ‘too many daughters’. Hekimuddin Sheikh poisoned his youngest daughter along with another daughter aged 5. The youngest was declared brought dead at the hospital while the other daughter is said to be critical.
Hekimuddin mixed pesticide with iron syrup and fed it to two of his minor daughters when his wife, Ambiya Khatun, was not at home. Later, the wife took the children to a hospital in Bongaigaon district where her youngest was declared bought dead. The wife has been living at her parent’s house for the past month as her husband had begun torturing her for giving birth to ‘too many girls’.
“The torture increased after the last girl was born. He blames me for delivering too many girls and says it’s now my responsibility to bring money to feed them. Every morning, he used to come to our house to take me with him. On Monday morning, he said he wants to take the youngest and the five-year-old daughter home for some time. But he poisoned them and then sent them back here with my son. When they arrived, their faces were dark and the five-year-old child could barely walk,” Ambiya said.
Illias Rehman Sarkar, a child rights activist, blames the government for the crime Hekimuddin committed. He said, “A girl child is still considered as a burden as people cannot marry them at an early age because of legal consequences of child marriage. In these societies, an 18-year-old girl is still considered too old for marriage. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao is only a slogan sticking in school walls and hospitals. Schools are rare, dowry is prevalent and government schemes meant for girl child are unknown to people. So, the birth of a girl child is not news of joy here.”
Hekimuddin has been arrested by the Police from his village after a case was registered in the matter.