Three-month-old Neha Afreen — allegedly battered by her father who wanted a son — died of cardiac arrest on Wednesday, becoming the fourth known victim of such abuse of the girl child in India in recent times.
Afreen's heart gave way at 11.10am, succumbing to brain haemorrhage, cigarette burns and bite marks all over her body and subsequent convulsions at the Vani Vilas Hospital.
"Afreen, who was on life support, had hurried respiration of 30-40 per minute against the normal 20-25 and also Pathycardia (increased heart rate)," said Dr Some Gowda, the hospital's medical superintendent.
As the doctor announced Afreen's death, her inconsolable motherReshma Banu wailed, "My husband should be given capital punishment."
Afreen was admitted to the state-run hospital on April 8, three days after her father, car mechanic Ummer Farooq, had mauled her.
Farooq, 25, had allegedly burnt Afreen with a cigarette, bit her cheeks and neck after clamping his hand on her mouth.Banu, 20, Farooq's second wife, complained to the police that he had tried to kill their baby earlier too. Farooq, who was remanded in judicial custody till April 21, will be charged with murder, police said.
Afreen was buried around 6.30pm, becoming one of the many unwanted girls in India, where the preference for sons has led to gender imbalance. India's child sex ratio is 914 girls per 1,000 boys, way behind the global benchmark of 952.