The truth about the 13-month-old girl, who is admitted to the hospital attached to D Y Patil Medical College and Research Centre with multiple fractures and bruises, finally became known after the child’s mother spilled the beans. Based on her statement, the police have booked her husband, mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law for attempted murder.
MiD DAY broke the story ‘Grandmother assaults 13-month-old for being a girl’ on December 31, 2012, after learning that the child had been admitted in the hospital on December 20 with serious-enough injuries for the doctors to suspect foul play. The girl’s mother Shaina Hikkery is believed to have been frightened into saying that her daughter sustained injuries in a fall from a bed at home, but she eventually revealed a shocking tale after being counselled by sleuths investigating the case. According to the police report, Shaina’s husband Dastgir Hikkery (30), her mother-in-law Salima Hikkery and sisters-in-law Shabana Shaikh and Shirin Shaikh have been booked for attempt to murder.
Shaina eventually told the police that her husband Dastgir, mother-in-law Salima and sisters-in-law Shabana and Shirin began torturing the child soon after it was born on November 18, 2011. The reason the infant’s ordeal began was because they did not want another girl in the family.
The torture angle came to the fore when Shaina confided in a social worker at the hospital the first day her daughter was brought in. According to the social worker who wishes to remain anonymous, Shaina told her that her baby has undergone severe torture at the hands of her mother-in-law. Shania allegedly confessed to the social worker that she was severely beaten by her mother-in-law and two of her sister-in-laws five days after delivery for giving birth to a girl child mother has confessed that she was beaten up severely on the fifth day of her delivery by her mother in law and her two sister in laws for giving birth to baby girl.
The mother and child’s torture included regular beating sessions at the hands of Salma. According to Shaina, her mother-in-law used to add large amounts of salt in the child’s meal so that she would get nauseous and throw up. A source said on condition of anonymity that Salma would often force Shaina to eat the same food as the child.
The list of alleged inhuman torture methods inflicted on the baby just goes on. Shaina added that Salma used to make the child stand in a corner with weights on her legs and when she cried, she was administered a sleeping pill or a dose of alcohol. In her statement to the police, Shaina said that Shabana and Shirin often choked the child and only last month Dastgir had attempted to fling it off the first floor, but dropped the idea when a neighbour intervened.
Doctors treating the 13-month-old girl are deeply moved by the child’s innocence and her ability to smile though she is experiencing much pain. “Initially, in her statement she said whatever her husband had told us was the truth. Finally, she gave a statement against her husband, grandmother and the child’s paternal aunts. We have now registered a complaint under Section 307 (attempt to murder) against them,” said SR Chaoghule, ACP, Pimpri police station.
Sub Inspector, A R Thenge, of Hingewadi police station, said, “We have lodged a complaint against the baby’s father Dastgir Hikkery, grandmother Salima Hikkery, and aunts Shabana Shaikh and Shirin Shaikh. Dastgir has been arrested and sent to police custody for four days. The other three are currently missing from their home, but we will arrest them shortly.”