The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Son-crazed father kills baby girl

Durgapur, May 26: Mahadeb Karmakar wanted a son and month-old Chalantika had to pay with her life for her father’s obsession at Burnpur, echoing the tragedy two months ago at Hogolberia in Nadia when a son-crazed man was accused of poisoning his month-old daughter.

Karmakar, a contract worker at the Indian Iron and Steel Company, was charged with throwing his month-old daughter last night into the septic tank of his officers’ colony in the Hirapur police station area, about 220 km from Calcutta.

He confessed after being beaten up by residents of the area, who also forced him to recover the body this morning.

The body has been sent for post-mortem to the Asansol sub-divisional hospital.

The 38-year-old, wife Kabita, parents and brother are all in custody in connection with the incident. Karmakar’s five-year-old daughter, Shyamali, has been allowed to stay with them.

“We have arrested all the family members to maintain peace in the locality. They will be produced in court tomorrow. The minor daughter has been allowed to say with her mother,” said Rajen Banerjee, officer-in-charge of Hirapur police station.

Around 6 this morning, Kabita woke up to notice that her baby was missing from her bed, according to police. She asked Karmakar about it but did not get a satisfactory answer.

“I suddenly recalled that I had been teased by Mahadeb for giving birth to a girl for the second time. I went out and called my father-in-law, Maniklal, who sleeping in the courtyard of our room. He also questioned my husband but in vain,” recounted Kabita, sitting in the police station with Shyamali on her lap.

As the news spread, residents of the area assembled in front of Karmakar’s house. One of Karmakar’s neighbours, Jhantu Majhi, asked him if he knew where his daughter was.

“Though Karmakar initially denied any knowledge about his missing daughter, under pressure from residents of the area, he started giving contradictory statements. At this, a few of those assembled at his residence started beating him up and threatened him with dire consequences,” said a police officer.

“Ultimately, Karmakar confessed that he had last night wrapped a sleeping Chalantika in a sheet when his wife was asleep and thrown her into the septic tank,” the officer said.

Preliminary investigations reveal that Karmakar killed his month-old daughter as he had wanted a son, said the officer.

“Five years ago, my wife gave birth to a girl. When she became pregnant last year, I thought we would definitely have a son. But I was shattered when a girl was born a month ago,” said Karmakar, who broke down in the lock-up.

“I have been disappointed since then and was working on a plan to get rid of her. I seized the opportunity last night when it was drizzling and my wife was asleep. I took my sleeping daughter from bed and threw her into the safety tank. I am a petty contract labourer and it is impossible to shoulder the responsibility of two daughters,” he said.

“I was distressed to see my son regularly quarrelling with my daughter-in-law since she gave birth to a girl. But I could not imagine that Mahadeb would kill his own baby in such a ghastly manner,” said Maniklal, who is also a contract labourer in the same company.

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