7-day-old baby dies in TN, grandmother held for alleged female infanticide

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Two days after the death of a seven-day-old infant in Usilampatti in Tamil Nadu, the police have arrested the grandmother of the child as an autopsy report revealed that the baby died due to suffocation. According to reports, the child was brought to the government hospital in Usilampatti but the doctors declared her brought dead. The hospital alerted the police at Uthapanaickanoor police station, who registered a case under sections of a suspicious death. 

Following this, the Additional Superintendent of Police (Crime against Women and Children) S Vanitha and district child welfare committee member B Pandiaraja held an inquiry in the couple’s village. During interrogation, the parents were giving contradictory statements and the child’s body was sent to Government Rajaji Hospital for post-mortem.

The seven-day-old baby was the third child of Chinnasamy and his wife C Sivapriya, and the baby was born in Palani. The eldest girl child, aged seven, is affected by polio and the couple also has a two-year-old baby.

On Wednesday, Sivapriya told the police that the baby became motionless after she fed milk to the baby. However, once her husband returned at night, Sivapriya allegedly informed her husband and took the baby to the hospital at night. 

However, as per the autopsy report, the police said that the infant has been smothered to death. The infant also had injury marks on the face and after further questioning, the police say that the grandmother confessed to the alleged female infanticide. The child’s parents are already in custody.

The police are continuing their investigations with the parents to ascertain their role in the crime. A case has also been booked against the parents under CrPC Section 174 (Investigation over unnatural death), as per reports.

Usilampatti had been a notorious area for female infanticide till the late nineties. The then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had introduced the cradle baby scheme for parents to anonymously leave their girl children in their respective district office in order to avoid murders.