A woman and a man were arrested on Tuesday for trying to burry a newborn alive in Shujaabad.
The newborn was rescued by a resident of the area shortly after the woman and two men left the graveyard where they buried the baby.
The unconscious baby was taken to the tehsil headquarters hospital, from where she was sent to the Children’s Complex in Multan. Police said the arrested suspects had confessed to the crime.
Twenty-six-year-old Nadia Bibi, a resident of Kilejpur, told police that Ghaffar Mughal, a landlord, had hired her as a domestic helper. She said her parents worked at his farm.
She said he started harassing her and raped her for several weeks. She said he had threatened to kill her if she reported it to her parents or the police.
Six months ago, she said, she discovered that she was three months pregnant. She said when Mughal found out, he detained her at his farm.
She said he had forced her to sleep with his friends during this time.
On Monday, she said, she gave birth to a baby girl. She said she told Mughal that she could not take the baby home, so they planned to kill it.
At sehar, she said, Mughal’s two guards escorted her to the neighbourhood graveyard, where she dug a hole and put the baby in. She said she quickly covered it with loose earth and left.
She said it was only when the police arrested her that she learnt that the baby had been rescued.
Police said Muhammad Iqbal, a Ramazan drummer, who was on his street tour to wake people up, saw them taking the baby towards the graveyard. He said he followed them and saw them bury the child. He said he rushed to take the baby out as soon as the three left. He said the earth was lying loose on the child and she was unconscious.
He took it to a friend, who took the baby to THQ hospital, from where it was sent to Multan.
Doctors treating the baby said she was out of danger.
Dr Rana Aftab, the Children’s Complex medical superintendent, told The Express Tribune that the baby had inhaled dust. Had she been brought in a little later, she could have died.
He said the baby had been handed over to Iqbal’s friend, who brought her to the hospital. The hospital administration informed the police, who raided the farm and arrested Nadia Bibi and Mughal. Station House Officer Zulfiqar Gujjar said a case had been registered against Nadia Bibi under Section 328 (abandoning a child) and Mughal under Section 376 (rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
He said Mughal’s four brothers, who were also present at the farm when it was raided, had been taken into custody for investigation, police said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.