Grandfather, parents arrested for death of month-old girl in Tamil Nadu’s Usilampatti

Child was administered poisonous herbal juice, buried.

Updated - March 06, 2020 01:51 am IST

Published - March 06, 2020 12:18 am IST - MADURAI

Picture for representation. File

Picture for representation. File

In a case of female infanticide, a 31-day-old baby girl was allegedly murdered by her parents and grandfather on Monday night in a village near Usilampatti in Madurai district.

Chekkanoorani police on Thursday arrested parents S. Vairamurugan, 37, and Sowmya, 22, and paternal grandfather S. Singam, 67, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for murder, criminal conspiracy and tampering with evidence. Following a tip-off about the missing infant, the police had gone in search of the parents, but they were absconding, Usilampatti Deputy Superintendent of Police A. Raja said. However, the police managed to trace them.

Also read | Ghost of female infanticide returns to haunt Usilampatti

“They have admitted to the crime and have been charged with murder,” Additional Superintendent of Police (Crime against Women and Children) S. Vanitha said.

The man worked in the fruit market at Simmakkal, Madurai city. His wife delivered the baby on January 31.

As the couple already had a three-year-old girl, Vairamurugan blamed his wife for giving birth to a second daughter, the police said.

The parents and the elderly man had administered a poisonous herbal juice to the infant on Monday.

Father and son had then buried the body.

Also read | Not all daughters are welcome: Female foeticide and infanticide make a comeback in Tamil Nadu

An anonymous call to the police triggered the investigation and arrest of all three. The body of the child was exhumed by a medical team that performed a post-mortem under the supervision of Usilampatti tahsildar, said Revenue Divisional Officer (Usilampatti) K.V. Rajkumar.

Madurai District Collector T.G. Vinay said female infanticide, prevalent in the Usilampatti region in the past, had resurfaced after a long time. “If the parents do not want a female baby, they can always hand it over to the authorities at government hospitals and the babies will be taken care of under the Cradle Baby scheme,” he said. He added that the district administration was chalking out a plan of action for an awareness campaign in Usilampatti on the opportunities open for girls.

In September 2018, a woman, mother of three girls, died in a bid to abort an advanced pregnancy near Usilampatti. A woman nurse had made her believe that the foetus was also female and promised to help her abort. After she administered an injection, the woman died and a post-mortem revealed that the foetus was that of a male.


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