Mother sets daughter on fire for having eaten extra-rice

Report by: 
SOUMYA DE SARKAR
MALDA
25 Oct 2018

In a shocking incident that occurred at Kadamtala village under Kaliachak police station in the district a retarded minor girl was set ablaze by her mother merely for having eaten rice without permission. The girl Sulekha Khatun, 15 who sustained major burn injuries is now battling for life at Malda medical college & hospital (MMCH). Ajmira Bibi, the accused mother went untraced after Beli Bibi, sister-in-law of the retarded girl lodged a written police complaint against her. 
It has been learnt from sources that Sulekha out of hunger demanded some extra portion of rice on Wednesday night. Ajmira Bibi summarily turned down the daughter’s plea for the additional quantity of rice. Seeing that her mother was away Sulekha helped herself with the extra rice. Sounds of utensils at kitchen drew attention of Ajmira Bibi who rushed to kitchen instantly. Seeing her daughter eating rice despite her rejection, Ajmira Bibi out of extreme wrath poured kerosene on her and set her on fire.
Scream for life by Sulekha brought Beli Bibi and other neighbours. “By then she was terribly burnt. We extinguished the fire and rushed her to local health centre. The doctors immediately referred her to MMCH,” Beli said.
Locals informed that Tutul Sheikh; father of the injured girl worked as migrant labourer in Delhi and was out of station at the time of the incident. Sulekha’s only brother lives with Beli Bibi.
“Sulekha is retarded since her birth. She cannot speak clearly. Her appetite is more than average girls of her age. The family does not have enough resources to spare for sumptuous meals twice a day. Probably the frustration and helplessness of Ajmira Bibi made her furious. Otherwise she is not that cruel,” said a neighbour.
Doctors in MMCH said that condition of the minor girl was alarming. “It seems that she has had more than 60 percent of her body burnt. She is under treatment at the burn-unit. However, nothing can be foretold about chances of her recovery,” a doctor said.
Police officials have started a probe into the matter. “The accused mother is yet to be traced,” said Dipak Sarkar, additional SP (Rural).