Police are searching for Ruma's mother-in-law and father-in-law who have evaded arrest.
In-laws have beaten a pregnant Indian woman to death, torturing her in their family home. They carried out the crime on 25-year-old Ruma Nandi on 27th October 2017.
Located in the Birbhum area of Bengal, the in-laws’ alleged motive was that the woman was expecting a baby girl.
Police arrested two individuals; the woman’s husband, Biswajit Nandi and her sister-in-law, Priyanka Sen. However, they are still searching for Ruma’s mother-in-law and father-in-law who have evaded arrest.
On 27th October, police received a complaint against Biswajit, Priyanka and their parents, Nabakumar and Kalpana Nandi. In a statement, Superintendent N Sudhirkumar said:
“Biswajit Nandi, her husband and Priyanka Sen, her sister-in-law have so far been arrested on the basis of the complaint lodged by the family of the victim.”
Reports add that Ruma’s brother, named Ujjwal Sen, discovered the victim’s body. The in-laws reportedly called him to say that the 25-year-old was feeling unwell. However, when he arrived at the residence, he found her dead.
He claimed she had a black mark located on her throat and added: “We are sure that they killed her.”
A week prior to the attack, Ruma had undergone a sonography test, which revealed the gender of her baby. It determined that she was expecting a girl. However, as India has banned prenatal sex determination, it remains unknown how she gained access to such a test.
Ujjwal claimed that the in-laws discovered the results of the test. He said:
“After the family members came to know the gender of the foetus, they began torturing her. They also pressured her to abort it. When my sister did not agree, they killed her.”
This follows a similar case, also involving a pregnant woman in Bengal. In August 2017, a man had allegedly killed his 24-year-old pregnant wife by poisoning her. She reportedly refused to abort her female child. She later died in a hospital.
These two cases highlight how female foeticide still occurs in some parts of India. Despite the government’s attempts to ban prenatal sex determination tests, it appears some Indians can still gain access to finding out the gender of their baby.
With these two women’s deaths, it seems clear that more action is needed. Not only to prevent female foeticide but also break down the archaic importance of a male heir.