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Foul play suspected in deaths of 3 girls

Police arrest one father, investigation in other cases continues

  • Ritu Sharma, New Delhi
  • India
  • June 22, 2012
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Authorities in a northern Indian state suspect that local people are now using “new methods” to kill baby girls, despite governmental measures against female infanticide.

Three newborn girls have died mysteriously in the last 12 days in two villages in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan state.

“There is a possibility that the girls were not properly fed or denied medical treatment when they were born,” district collector (head of administration) Shuchi Tyagi said.

District authorities are imposing a slew of measures to control female infanticide, including mandates on official notification of births and bans on gender determination tests.

There are some patriarchal communities in the district infamous for killing girls at the time of their birth, Tyagi said.

A police complaint has been registered in one of the cases and the father has been arrested.

Mamta Vishnoi, who heads the police force in the district, said  the girl was not given proper treatment and died within three days of her birth.

The other two cases are under investigation, Vishnoi said.

Parents in the region used to give insecticide or opium to newborn girls and in some cases suffocated them, she said.

The district has a sex ratio of 849 girls per 1000 boys, significantly below the national average of 940.

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