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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

3 Delhi sisters who died of starvation were fed ‘unknown medicine’ by their father: Report

A preliminary magisterial probe report said that the father gave some “unknown medicine” to his daughters during the night of July 23 and he has not returned since the morning of July 24.

delhi Updated: Jul 28, 2018 15:32 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The report said that the “nutritional condition of the deceased children was not quite well” although they were getting “some food items regularly”.
The report said that the “nutritional condition of the deceased children was not quite well” although they were getting “some food items regularly”.(HT Photo)

A magisterial probe into the starvation deaths of three sisters in Delhi suggests that they may have died after their father gave them an “unknown medicine”.

The Delhi government on Friday asked deputy commissioner of police (east) to dig deeper, after an initial report by sub-divisional magistrate Arun Gupta suggested that three minor girls in Mandawali might have died after their father gave them an “unknown medicine”.

The father of the girls, Mangal Singh, has been missing since the deaths were reported on Tuesday.

Gupta stated in his report that the three children used to eat “some food regularly”, despite their nutritional conditions being poor. The report also said that the three minor sisters were suffering from “loose motion” and “vomiting”, which may have been caused due to some kind of “stomach infection”.

Doctors who conducted the initial autopsy of the three girls at Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital, however, reiterated that the deaths were a “clear case of starvation”. “This is the first time in all my years of working as a doctor that I have seen such gross starvation. We have ruled out any other cause,” said a doctor from Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital.

A preliminary report on the July 24 incident was submitted by Gupta to deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Friday.

Gupta said the deaths could have been deliberate or caused due to negligence. It also stated that a night before their deaths, Mangal Singh had given the girls “some unknown medicine by mixing it in hot water”.

The area’s district magistrate, K Mahesh, who also helped prepare the report, has added that Singh has been missing since the time of the incident which raises suspicion. In his note, he also raised doubts as to how three girls of different age groups – 2, 4 and 8 years – could die on the same day and during the same morning hours.

The report said that despite suffering from loose motions, the three girls “were not given adequate ORS”.

“The police are relying on the initial autopsy report which says that the girls did not have any trace of food in their digestive system. But, acute loose motions can clear one’s entire system of food and water. It cannot be decisively concluded that the girls died only because of starvation,” said an advisor in the deputy chief minister’s office.

He sought a detailed investigation by the police also because the viscera report of the three children is yet to come.

The report further said that the eldest girl, Mansi (8), “appeared ill” on Monday and had also vomited. “She was provided mid-day meal, but she could not consume much due to her ill health. Officials have also found that Mansi had a Coporation Bank account and as per the bank statement, an amount of Rs 1805 was available in it,” it said.

The doctors who conducted the autopsy said that the condition of the children was so bad that even if they had been given food, they might have vomited it out. “When someone hasn’t eaten in days, the body refuses to accept food. The stomach of the children were completely empty and there wasn’t any trace of faecal matter, which can only happen if they haven’t digested any food for days,” said the doctor.

“Poisoning or any medicine having a reaction is also not possible because most medicines need some body fat to work; the fat reservoirs of the children were completely depleted. Plus, if there were any kind of reaction there would have been signs of it on the organs, probably oedema (swelling caused by a fluid leak from the capillaries) on the stomach, which was not the case,” the doctor added. The mother is currently in a delirious state at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS).

‘They shifted house often’

Another report prepared by the Integrated Child Development Services through Delhi government’s women and child development department stated that benefits under the Angawadi scheme and the National Food Security Act could not reach the children because the family “used to shift houses” often.

“The benefits could not reach her as the family used to keep moving houses. Sometimes they have even gone to West Bengal to stay for a few months,” an official from the department said.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 21:54 IST

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