In a truly harrowing incident, a man allegedly buried alive his two-day-old daughter on Friday after claiming he did not “like her looks”.
With the mother still admitted in the hospital, Chaand Khan, a resident of the Kacha Khu area in Khanewal, along with his brother and son, discreetly buried the newborn – complete with funeral prayers.
A local cleric who offered the funeral prayers got suspicious after he heard the infant weeping during the rites. However, Khan brushed off the possibility, insisting that his daughter had died at birth and the cleric was imagining the sounds.
According to the cleric, he was taken to a deserted place for the funeral, where only three people were present. Following the funeral, he went back to the village and informed the locals of his suspicions.
Upon learning of the incident, the villagers handed Khan, his brother and his son to the police.
While talking to The Express Tribune, the newborn’s uncle said that his niece was born two days ago at a private hospital, Al Shifa Hospital, through a caesarian operation.
Dr Omar Farooq of Al Shifa Hospital, who delivered the baby, confirmed that the girl was, in fact, alive and healthy at the time she was discharged. The doctor added that the newborn had an unusually large face and her features were not normal. The mother is still in hospital and is said to be mourning the loss of her daughter.
The couple has five children already – three boys and two girls.
According to the police, Khan had taken his newborn daughter to a primary health centre, and requested a doctor to inject his daughter with poison, killing her instantly. Dr Farooq Ahmed, in charge of the primary health centre, however, denied the claim. He also confirmed the incident to The Express Tribune.
Shehbaz, the brother of the newborn, argued that they had done the right thing by burying the baby alive. He added that they had not shown her to any of their relatives because it would bring “notoriety to their family, especially the men”. He further said that his newborn had “caused mental tension” for his father.
SHO Chaudhry Shamshad of the Kacha Khu police station told The Express Tribune that he had arrested all three family members present at the funeral. He added that he would discuss the case with his legal team, after which they would register an FIR and initiate investigations.
The grave is, however, yet to be dug.
Residents of the area told The Express Tribune that if the police failed to initiate legal action against the accused within 48 hours, they would approach the Khanewal DPO to register a formal complaint against the police.
Malik Asif, a resident, told The Express Tribune that Khan’s family graveyard is in rural area 16/9-R but they had chosen to bury the newborn in an urban area of Kacha Khu to conceal their crime.
Another resident Qamar Khan said that daughters are a blessing and called the accused “animals”.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.
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