Baby’s father, spiritual leader held for delaying breastfeeding

The superstitious father, who had delayed breastfeeding of his newborn for a whole day, and a controversial ‘spiritual leader’ have been arrested at Mukkam in Keala’s Kozhikode district for cruelty against the baby under the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.

Police arrested Abubacker Siddique of Omassery who had prevented his wife Hafsath from breastfeeding the newborn for 21 hours insisting that a newborn should be breastfed only after hearing the Azan (prayer calls from mosques given five times a day) five times, late Friday evening under the Section 75 of the JJ Act. Kalamthod Hydrose Thangal, a local ‘spiritual leader’ who had allegedly counseled his followers not to breastfeed newborns until the Azan is heard five times, was arrested on Saturday for abetting the crime. Hydrose Thangal, who regularly held prayer meetings at his place, used to instill several superstitions in his followers — such as advising offering long prayers by the sick instead of seeking medical treatment.

On Saturday, activists of Democratic Youth Federation of India, the youth wing of the CPI(M) as well as the ISM, the youth wing of the Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, took out rallies to Hydrose Thangal’s home. The activists condemned the superstitious activities of Hydrose Thangal and cautioned people against those spreading superstitions in the name of religion.

Blame it on my blind faith: father

Meanwhile, Abubacker Siddique, in a Facebook post, apologized for his act. He said it was his `blind faith and emotional troubles’ coupled with `misleading advice’ that had led to delaying breast milk to his newborn. However, he pointed out that the baby had been fed honey and water even when it had been denied of breast milk. No father would starve his child, he said. “Let this not happen to anybody else,” he said and asked for forgiveness.

Abubacker’s wife had given birth to a baby boy in a private hospital at Mukkam on Wednesday afternoon. In spite of the medical staff’s advice, Abubacker wanted his wife to wait for hearing the Azaan five times before breastfeeding the newborn. The incident went viral on the social media and attracted flak from all around. The Kerala State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights on Friday asked the police to prosecute the father and those who had abetted it.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 10:37:15 AM |

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