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“Saas ne kaha hai, chhora hua to rakh lenge (My mother-in-law has said that if I deliver a son, the family will keep him),” said the 40-year-old woman from Maujukhera village in Haryana’s Sirsa district whose mother-in-law has been arrested for allegedly burning her four-year-old daughter’s private parts with hot tongs. The mother of three is expecting another child now and is seven months into her pregnancy. Her daughter has been recently discharged from a government hospital, but she is more worried about the child yet to be born.
The woman’s 55-year-old mother-in-law is currently in Sirsa jail. While the FIR says that she committed the brutal act “because she was annoyed as there was no boy in her son’s family”, police say they will also probe whether a “tantrik” provoked her.
An Anganwadi worker told The Indian Express that it was the girl’s mother who first complained to them against her mother-in-law’s alleged act. “She told us about the incident on July 15 when she came to the anganwadi for Tetanus Toxoid immunisation. After that, her mother-in-law beat her up. In turn, on July 17, Roshni’s husband beat up his mother and she complained to the police. When police reached their home, Roshni’s husband showed them the burn injuries on the private parts of his youngest daughter. Meanwhile, a team of District Child Protection Committee (DCPC) reached there and he lodged a complaint,” said the anganwadi worker. On the DCPC’s complaint, police lodged an FIR and arrested the woman’s mother-in-law on July 23.
But, now the woman says, “My daughter was trying to drink tea when the bowl full of hot tea fell on her. That caused the burns.” The victim’s seven-year-old sister, however, said it was her grandmother who hurt her.