Midnapore, May 23: An affluent 50-year-old farmer wanted his second wife to deliver a daughter because he had two sons from his first marriage. When he had a boy again, Anadi Kumbhakar smashed the baby's head.
He was beaten up by villagers and arrested this morn- ing, hours after he left the baby bleeding from the ears and nose outside his in-laws' house at Onda in Bankura, about 250 km from Calcutta.
A widower with two sons aged 24 and 19, Anadi married Chaina, 25, three years ago.
Since marriage, he had been insisting that Chaina had to deliver a daughter. When she became pregnant the first time, Anadi forced her to undergo an abortion.
A police officer said: 'Maybe a quack had told him that she was carrying a boy.'
After Chaina became pregnant again last year, she shifted to her parents.
'The woman was scared that she would also lose her second child,' said deputy superintendent of police Debabrata Das.
'We have heard of people killing their girl children for want of a son. Anadi's case is rare,' he added.
Three weeks ago, Chaina gave birth to the boy, a healthy baby, at Bankura Sammilani Medical College and Hospital.
'My husband was so angry on hearing that I had given him a son that he did not come to see me or the child in the hospital. I did not dare to return to him when I was released' I went to my parents. I thought he would calm down with time,' Chaina told the police while lodging the complaint against her husband.
Last night, Anadi went to his in-laws' around 9 and told Chaina that he had come to take her home.
'I thought my husband had finally come to terms with the fact that I bore him a son,' she said today, sobbing.
When he even agreed to stay overnight at his in-laws', about 15 km from his own village, Paharpur, Chaina was a relieved mother.
'A little before dawn, I woke up with a start. The door to the room and the gate leading to the road were open and I saw my husband fading in the distance. The baby was missing from the bed,' Chaina told the police.
She rushed out to find her son in a pool of blood, about 200 metres from the house.
Anadi was traced some 10 km away, at Dhaldanga.
After the villagers' thrashing, he had to be hospitalised.
'I lost my head when I heard I had another son. I went to my in-laws' house to fetch both my wife and son. But at night, I had one look at the boy and against lost my cool,' he told the police.