Poverty forced mother to dump baby in canal

 In a heartrending incident, the mother of a 20-day-old girl child, Zoya Khanum - who was found dead in the V C Canal near the City on Saturday - confessed to killing her child on Monday.

On June 21, Sumaiya Banu (22), had lodged a complaint at the Mandi Police Station, stating that her child had been kidnapped.

Police, who will continue the investigations, saidthat poverty, coupled with escalating costs to treat the ailing child, had forced Sumaiya to take the drastic step.

The infant, diagnosed with pneumonia, had been treated at Mission Hospital and Chitra Nursing Home in the City.

Despite the ill-health of the child and against doctor’s advice, Sumaiya had got the child discharged, as she was unable to bear the hospital expenses. According to her statement to the police, Sumaiya said Zoya was suffering from illness since her birth and had not shown signs of recovery.

“Apart from this, my husband (Fairoz Khan) was accused in several cases of theft. His regular trips to the court and police station had depressed me. I had feared that the notoriety of her father would taint Zoya’s name. I did not want her to be mocked as a daughter of a crook,” she said, adding Fairoz was a drunkard and had scant concern for the family.

These factors made her to kill the baby by dumping it in the canal.

On June 20, she went in her husband’s autorickshaw to a pawn broker’s shop at Ashoka Road, on the pretext of pledging her mother’s ornaments for the treatment of the child. Fairoz and her older son stayed back in a gully near the pawn broker’s shop.

After ensuring that her husband was not watching, she called her elder brother, Imran (27), an auto driver at around 8.30 pm and asked him to take her near Columbia Asia Hospital.

Imran, who was also arrested in connection with the death of the infant, said that once they reached the hospital, Sumaiya said that she did not want the newborn. “She forced me to take her near the canal and dumped the baby in it,” he said. “I pleaded her not to kill the child. I told her that I will take care of it. But, she would not listen,” he said.

Psychological angle

Addressing a press meet, Commissioner of Police K L Sudheer described it as a ‘painful incident’. He said psychologists would be consulted to ascertain the causes which led Sumaiya to kill her child.

Depression, owing to domestic problems and ill-health of the child, might have led her to kill the baby, he said.

Following the ‘kidnap’ case lodged by Sumaiya and the discovery of the child in the canal, the police had constituted two probe teams, led by DCP (Law and Order) Basavaraj Malagatti and DCP (Traffic) K P Bheemaiah. During interrogation, Sumaiya admitted to the crime, he said.

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