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Apr 11 2012

A chance

Remember the baby girl in Bangalore whose father punched her because he wanted a boy?

Well, she died.

For nearly a week, the three-month-old fought as hard as she could in hospital, despite a father who established through brute force that she was unwanted. This morning, Baby Afreen died 30 minutes after a cardiac arrest in a government hospital – the third that she visited in the last seven days with her teenaged mother. She was buried later in the day.

Baby Afreen’s father, Umar Farooq, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly assaulting his only child. He has reportedly confessed to the police that he hit his only child because he had wanted a son. Afreen’s mother, Reshma Bano, is 19 years old. She has offered conflicting accounts of how often her husband hit the baby.

But last week, with her baby bruised and bitten, Reshma rushed to hospital.  Afreen arrived at Bangalore’s Vani Vilas hospital three days ago, with bleeding and swelling in her brain. This morning, doctors say, she slipped into a coma after a series of convulsions that began last evening.  Doctors have been circumspect about revealing the details of the physical abuse she suffered, but they say she had bite marks and burns.

Her parents say Farooq had a record of beating Reshma. Policemen dissuaded them from registering a complaint. “Give him a chance, let them work it out,” was the advice they allegedly offered to Reshma’s father, Abdul Karim.

Give him a chance to what? Hit harder? Hit more often? Bite? Burn?

6 comments

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  1. 1
    eric

    Bitten? Bite marks? Who does…its…aaaarrrgh.

    He should not go to jail. He should be put to sleep.

  2. 2
    dianne

    Isn’t it lucky that sex selective abortion is illegal in the Indian subcontinent? If it had been available, this child might never have been born and been spared a short and extremely horrific life. Her mother might not be as traumatized either.

  3. 3
    iknklast

    My parents wanted a boy; they adjusted. When one sex is actually valued over the other, tragedy occurs.

  4. 4
    carpenterman

    Stories like this make me ashamed of my Y chromosome.

  5. 5
    Deepak Shetty

    Times like this I wish for a hell but perhaps we are already in it.

    @Dianne
    Isn’t it lucky that sex selective abortion is illegal in the Indian subcontinent?
    In theory. In practice , not so much.

  6. 6
    dianne

    @5: Yeah, and every discussion I’ve ever seen or read about the gender imbalance in India and nearby countries has included a (nearly always) male commentator pompously proclaiming how important girls are to the country and how shameful women who would get an abortion for sexual selection are. While they ignore girls being battered to death and starved. Not to mention women who get abused by their husbands for producing girl babies.

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