The Hamirpur couple’s bald-faced attempt to bury their day-old girl child, in order to get rid of her, has shocked the State.
However, the woman Lakshmi’s action to save the girl and adopt is indicative of the fact that compassion still exists.
The police have launched a manhunt for the couple who, on hearing the cries of Lakshmi, vanished into a nearby jungle.
Talking to HT on the phone Hamipur district police chief Aparna said a police team was tasked to trace the couple in the nearby villages. In this connection hospital and nursing home records in the town were also being scanned. Aparna said Laxmi alias Usha wife of Guddu had offered to adopt the abandoned child.
There were also reports of involvement of maternity homes in the ‘killing racket’.
With abject poverty, illiteracy and backwardness prevailing in the entire Bundelkhand region consisting of Hamirpur, Banda, Orai, Jhansi and Mahoba districts, social evils have assumed serious dimensions. There have been at least half a dozen cases of killing newborn girls in the recent past, said Orai-based social activist and advocate Yusuf Ishtiyaq. He said nearly two months ago a one- day-old girl was buried alive in village Sarsai under Gohand police circle in Hamirpur. He said since there was no evidence, the police could not register any case in this connection.
“It has led to massive male and female gender imbalance in the district, said Aparna. She said the ratio was at present was 750 female per 1000 male.
However, Ishtiyaq who had visited Sarsai village after the incident said that the problem was because of the rampant feeling among illiterate people that only a male child could take the clan ahead and not the female child. “Because of girl children, khandan khatam ho raha hai” (clan is vanishing), was what the villagers said. Because of the utter poverty the villagers were also afraid of dowry problems in case a girl child was allowed to survive.
Ishtiyaq said the problem was uncontrolled but very few cases had came to light. Normally the couples moved out in forest areas to dump the child, he said.
He said while there was a clear preference for male babies, atrocities on women had also taken serious dimension in the region. The SP said a case under section 317 IPC was registered against the unidentified couple.