MADURAI: A 55-year-old woman was arrested by Uthapanayakanur police in the Madurai district on Friday for killing her newborn granddaughter. The woman, K Nagammal, was the baby’s paternal grandmother.
The newborn was the third girl child born to Sivapriyanka and Chinnaswamy of K Paraipatti at a government medical institution near Palani in Dindigul district on February 12. The couple already has a seven-year-old paraplegic daughter and a two-and-a-half-year-old with a speech impairment. Police said that Sivapriyanka returned to K Paraipatti village with the newborn just a few days ago. On Wednesday night, the baby was brought dead to the Government District Headquarters Hospital in Usilampatti. Police registered a case of suspicious death on Thursday and started questioning the couple and Nagammal, who lived with the couple.
According to police, Nagammal confessed during interrogation that she was unhappy about Sivapriyanka giving birth to a third girl child. “She advised her daughter-in-law not to feed the newborn so the child would eventually die. Sivapriyanka also obeyed her for a while but the baby started crying continuously for milk. As Sivapriyanka was busy with domestic work, Nagammal got irritated with the crying and closed the baby’s nose and mouth causing the newborn to suffocate to death,” a police officer said.
Sivapriyanka, who later found the baby unconscious, rushed her to the hospital, where the doctors declared the child ‘brought dead’. While the police initially suspected the baby might have starved to death, preliminary findings revealed that nail marks were seen on the baby’s cheek, nose and lips.
According to sources, a contusion (bruise) was found on the right side of the infant girl's head. It was noticed that the baby's stomach was empty, indicating that she was not fed anything for about a day. “Further, a deep 'raw area' (without the skin) was found on the chest and on an arm. Since the autopsy was performed more than a day after the death, to ascertain the possible cause for the 'raw area', an opinion would be sought from the doctors at the Government District Headquarters Hospital in Usilampatti who examined the body first,” sources said.
The case registered under 174 (3) of CrPC in Uthapanayakanur police station limit on Thursday will be altered to include Section 302 of the IPC.
Meanwhile, B Pandiarajan, a member of the district Child Welfare Committee, urged families who did not want a girl child to hand over the child to the committee. “There are hundreds of childless people ready to adopt girl children. A total of 28 children, including 21 girl children of different ages, were handed over to the adoption homes since January 2020, due to the awareness efforts of the Child Welfare Committee and District Child Protection Unit,” he said.