Kozhikode District Collector has ordered action against a Muslim man in Kerala who prevented his wife from breastfeeding their newborn until five azaans (prayer calls) — which take place in a span of 24 hours — were over after his birth. According to reports, Abubacker remained adamant even as doctors at EMS Co-operative Hospital in Mukkam, Kozhikode, feared health complications, including epilepsy, in the baby boy if he was not fed immediately after birth.
Abubacker told the hospital staff that a Muslim preacher had advised him that the newborn should be breastfed only after five prayer calls from the mosque. He did not relent even after hospital authorities called in the police.
The man even furnished an affidavit that he would take responsibility if anything happened to the newborn. He also said he had not fed his younger son till 23 hours after birth and that he was perfectly fine now.
In a Facebook post Thursday, District Collector Prasanth said “no religion asks to starve a new born baby and that the youth who showed this cruelty and those who prompted him need treatment”. He said he had ordered action against Abubacker and people, including the preacher, who pushed him into doing so.
The state commission for protection of child rights, too, has ordered a probe into the incident.
The baby boy, who was born Wednesday noon, was finally given breastmilk Thursday 7:30 a.m.