Expressing outrage over the incident in Rajasthan where an ailing girl child was ‘buried alive,’ political leaders, voluntary organisations and activists on Friday demanded a thorough probe into it and warned against its glorification.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and former MP Brinda Karat said the Central government should have already instituted an inquiry. “Glorification of murder is unacceptable and should not be allowed under any circumstances,’’ she said.
Dr. V. Mohini Giri, social worker and activist, called the incident ‘sickening.’ She said: “Despite so many programmes and work done to bring in a more educated approach to empowerment of women, we still have backward and ancient beliefs that haunt our women and girl child. We have to change the mindset that is adversely affecting the women in India.’’
Ranjana Kumari of Centre for Social Research, a non-governmental organisation working for empowering women and girls, said: “Only ignorance can lead to a two-year-old child being ‘buried alive’ and then called a goddess. It clearly indicates that we have a long way to go to educate and create awareness among the rural population to avoid such primitive practices.”
Describing the incident as outrageous, child rights lawyer activist Ravi Kant said the circumstances prima facie indicated the involvement of the victim’s parents. “However, as the grave was turned into a ‘samadhi,’ the role of other villagers also needs to be investigated,” said Mr. Kant who is also associated with an NGO, Shakti Vahini.
A former member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Vinod Tickoo, said the incident brought to light the prevalence of barbaric practices like female genocide. “This incident is barbaric and needs to be probed. Female foeticide and genocide is still prevalent in Rajasthan and it is time to take strict action against this. Awareness campaigns need to be strengthened to weed out these inhuman practices,” he said.
In Bharatpur, life was limping back to normality in Kumher village which witnessed high drama on Thursday, following the mysterious death of two-and-a-half-year-old girl, Khushboo, who is suspected to have been buried alive by her parents after being pronounced an ‘incarnation of a goddess.’ There was an eerie silence in the Nat Mohalla where she was buried within the compound of her house. With the police warning rumour mongers, villagers preferred not to talk about the incident on Friday. Local reporters and officials said that such incidents were not uncommon in the region but this episode had drawn a lot of attention.