Husband kills wife for giving birth to daughter


, TNN | Jul 27, 2012, 04.44AM IST

COIMBATORE: In a shocking incident, a 22-year-old youth killed his 20-year-old wife near Kanuvai on Thursday for giving birth to a female baby last month.

The accused, S Pandiaraj, reportedly kicked his wife, G Nagajothi, in the abdomen repeatedly on Wednesday night and by Thursday morning she started to vomit blood. She breathed her last at a private hospital near Kanuvai. Police have arrested Pandiaraj and his mother, Dhanti, 50, in connection with the incident.

According to Vadavalli police, the couple has a two-year-old daughter, Aishwarya. Pandiaraj, a lorry driver, had married Nagajothi after courting her for a few months and the couple had a happy married life until the birth of their daughter. Their marital life started to crumble when her in-laws started taunting Nagajothi for ‘failing’ to give a baby boy.

It seems Pandiaraj started to ill- treat his wife after family members and some friends repeatedly taunted him for fathering a girl child. The brutalisation process was complete when the second baby also turned out to be a girl. As per the police complaint filed by the victim’s father Ganesan, Pandiaraj used to assault Nagajothi almost every day and none, including his parents, cared to intervene and protect her.

The incident has left the civil society in the city in a shock as it reveals the deep-rooted prejudice against the girl child in the society. Long years of campaigns, by the state as well as NGOs, state policies favouring the girl child and regulations seem to have failed to alter the mindset of people.

Legal experts claimed that cases of gender discrimination are being reported from the upper middle class and educated sections of the society. “The old social outlook which tends to tilt towards the male gender is highly prevalent even among the educated sections of the society. It is deep rooted in their mindset and aggressive awareness campaigns to promote equal status for women should be ensured at least in the coming years,’ said M Vennila, a city-based advocate.

Sociologists expect gender prejudice to decline as more and more women attain economic independence. The notion of girl child being a burden on the parents especially at the time of marriage would then cease. “When more and more women become economically independent, the social situation and prejudices are also expected to change,’ said T Srinivasan, retired psychology professor, Government Arts College, Coimbatore. Superstitious beliefs prevalent among certain communities are also cited for gender discrimination and cruelty towards wome

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