A 35-year-old woman has been arrested in the western Indian state of Rajasthan for stabbing to death her own 16-week-old daughter. The body of the child, motionless and covered in a blanket, was found in an unused air-conditioner at her house.
The incident took place in the state capital Jaipur on 26 August. Neha Goyal, the accused allegedly killed her daughter over her strong obsession for a son — a highly prevalent mind-set in the male-dominated society of Rajasthan.
On the day of the incident, the mother-of-two raised an alarm about her missing child. However, hours after the discovery of the body of the child, police accused the mother of slitting the child's throat with a kitchen knife, NDTV reported. The body had 17 stab wounds, indicating the brutal killing committed by the mother.
The woman, who also has an eight-year-old daughter, was arrested on Thursday (8 September), following which she admitted to the crime. She reportedly told the police that she was very upset about giving birth to a daughter and not a son. She said she even considered in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy to ensure she can have a son as her second child. She even resorted to religious ceremonies to please the gods to bless her with a son in her desperation to have a male child, she reportedly told the police.
"A knife was used to kill the baby, who had 17 injury marks on her body. The knife has been recovered at the instance of the accused," Jaipur police officer Angshuman Bhomia was quoted by the news channel as saying.
"She had done pujas [religious rituals] for a baby boy, we have interrogated the priests who did these pujas for her...she was very upset that she had a baby girl. This was a planned murder," Bhomia added.
Police found blood stains in the woman's bathroom, which forensic reports confirmed were of the deceased baby. There were signs of cleaning up the blood from the room, police said.
The incident shocked the family and neighbours. Goyal's husband, who belongs to a wealthy merchant family, told the police he had no idea that his wife could commit such a horrific crime.