The father of two minor girls found abandoned in Delhi last week had allegedly drowned their brother in a canal, police said on Saturday, in a new twist to an incident that has shocked the city.
The man, an alcoholic, was arrested on Saturday after he confessed to killing his two-and-half-year-old son on August 18, the day the two girls were rescued from a room in their house in Samaypur Badli in outer Delhi.
The girls — aged eight and three-and-a-half years — were locked up for four days in their one-room house without food and water, the maggot-infested wounds on their heads starting to rot. One of the girls is said to be in serious condition as the maggots had eaten into her brain.
Their mother had abandoned them earlier. Neighbours had said earlier that their brother was taken away by their grandmother on August 15.
The father said he brought back his son the same night and threw him into the Munak canal a few days later in a fit of anger.
The police have booked the father for abandoning his children and killing his son. They are now looking for his wife.
Vikramjit Singh, DCP (outer), said they have formed a team to trace the girl’s mother. The team will approach her parents and other family members to know her whereabouts. Her husband claimed that she left them three months ago and may have eloped with someone else.
Investigators are verifying his claims but they have not ruled out the possibility the man murdering his wife.
Police arrested the father after neighbours spotted him in the locality.
Much to the surprise of interrogators, he told them that he allegedly drowned his third child in the Munak canal in Bawana area as he was crying for food and milk.
He claimed that he was unable to arrange money to feed his children after his wife, the sole earning member of the family had disappeared, the police said.
The father said the boy had contracted infection in his leg from his sisters.
The child’s body was fished out of the canal the same evening after a local found it floating in the water. The body was preserved in a mortuary for identification.
Earlier, neighbours had seen the children’s grandmother taking away the boy on August 15. During interrogation, the father said he brought back his son the same night.
On August 18, the father allegedly beat up his children as they demanded food. His son’s cries irritated him so much so that the father took the child, locked the girls in the room, and left, said the officer.
Police said the father consumed liquor near the Munak canal. As the child was hungry and crying for food, the father allegedly picked him up and flung him into the canal.
Neighbours claim that they had informed the father that his daughters were admitted to the hospital. “But he never bothered to meet them,” said Virender, a neighbour.
Meanwhile, help had started pouring in for the girls, who are recuperating at Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital, from the country and abroad, said police.