Man kills toddler, born out of wedlock, to protect career

With a plan to contest GP polls, he thought revelation about his affair and child would spoil his image

A man allegedly murdered his two-year-and-eight-month-old baby born out of an extramarital affair to avoid tarnishing his political image in Chitradurga district. The police arrested the accused and exhumed the baby’s body at Guttidurga in Jagalur taluk on Tuesday.

Ningappa, 33, a resident of Guttidurga, was in a relationship with Shashikala. He had three children from his first marriage and a baby girl from his relationship with Shashikala. Neither her parents nor his family was aware of the affair and the baby.

As Shashikala’s parents put pressure on her to get married, she forced Ningappa to accept her as his wife in the presence of relatives so that everybody would know about their relationship. However, Ningappa was not ready for it. With a plan to contest in the gram panchayat elections, he thought any revelation about his affair and the child would spoil his political career.

Chitradurga SP G. Radhika told The Hindu that over the last few days, Ningappa convinced Shashikala to get separated, assuring her that he would hand over the baby to an orphanage. Though Shashikala was reluctant initially, she consented later. On September 7, the accused took the baby and asked Shashikala to return to her native place. A week later, she called him to enquire about the baby. He repeatedly misled her about the baby’s whereabouts. Eventually, he told her that he had killed the baby.

“Shashikala filed a complaint with the Women’s Police Station in Chitradurga on October 9. Later, the police took Ningappa into custody. He admitted to have strangulated and smothered the baby before burying her in his farm,” the officer said. The police exhumed the body and took samples for a DNA test. The SP said the accused wanted to get rid of the relationship ahead of the GP elections. Ningappa had been in a relationship with Shashikala even before his marriage. Both were from the same caste and wanted to get married. However, they faced opposition from elders in the families as both belonged to the same sub-sect within the case and it would mean they are brother and sister, as per the community’s understanding. The accused was worried that if his relationship was made known to people of his community, they would not stand by him in the election.

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