Principal District Judge of Nalgonda, M.V. Ramesh, on Thursday convicted a tribal couple, Ramavath Jayaram and Nagamani, for murder of their newborn girl, and awarded them life sentence and ₹5,000 penalty each.
The incident occurred in February 2017, and the couple had tried to bluff officials saying the newborn died of illness. But a child welfare official’s initiative in petitioning the Gudipally police expressing suspicion over the death led to launch of investigation.
According to officials who investigated the case, the baby was third girl child to the couple from Padamati Thanda of Pedda Adiserlapally in Devarakonda. Their second child died due to illness by the time, and they had been expecting a boy.
They were disappointed with the third girl birth, but when officer Bhukya Sakkubai from the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) counselled, they agreed to hand over the child to Sishu Gruha, the State’s shelter for abandoned newborns, in case they “cannot afford raising another girl child.”
On February 4 that year, the parents said that the baby died, despite treatment by a rural medical practitioner and intervention at Devarakonda Area Hospital.
However, ICDS officer Ms. Sakkubai who sensed something amiss went ahead and filed a complaint with the police.
Investigation by health officials and police later revealed that the 45-day-old baby died of poisoning, and the very motive of the parents in poisoning their newborn girl was “cannot afford raising another girl child.”