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Pradeep Singh

Sundergarh: Though massive awareness programmes are being launched at regular intervals against female foeticide, the deliberate sex-selective abortions and killing of newborns continue to remain a major cause of concern. A case in point is the death of a woman who was allegedly set on fire by in-laws for being pregnant with a second girl child.

The incident was reported from Koilagate region under Bandhamunda Police limits in Sundergarh district. The deceased, Radha Kumari was married to Vinod Singh about six years ago. The couple was blessed with a girl child and Radha was expecting again.

However, after Radha's in-laws came to know that she was pregnant with a girl child once again (following a sex determination test), they allegedly set her ablaze in a bid to get rid of the female child and their daughter-in-law. Radha was admitted to Rourkela IGH in a critical condition. She gave birth to the baby at the hospital but the newborn died while undergoing treatment at the hospital. Later, Radha also reportedly succumbed to the burn injuries.

"They intentionally tried to burn my daughter. They might have done that after knowing about the second baby girl. I want justice," said Shiv Kumar Sonkar, father of the deceased woman.

Social activist Pramila Das alleged that Radha's in-laws had earlier threatened that they would burn Radha along with her still born baby girl and they did the same on February 1.

Even though awareness programmes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao schemes have been launched to create awareness, such incidents prove that mindset has not changed, she added.

However, Rourkela DCP Pradyumna Kumar Mishra said that the deceased girl’s father has lodged a complaint alleging that her daughter was killed for dowry. “A dowry case has been registered and four persons have been apprehended,” he added.

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