Even as the state of Kerala is still reeling under the shock of the death of a 7-year-old boy in Thodupuzha, who succumbed to injuries after his mother’s partner brutally assaulted him, another case has emerged from Malappuram district. A three and a half-year-old child has been subjected to physical assault by her maternal grandmother and starved too.
The issue was brought to attention by residents of the Kalikavu area of Malappuram, where the child and three siblings had been staying along with their mother and grandmother. The neighbours had intimated the Childline officials on Monday.
Speaking to TNM, Anwar, coordinator of Malappuram Childline said that they had immediately visited the house of the child on being notified about the issue from the locals. “On reaching their house in Kalikavu, we found out that their house was not at all in a liveable condition. What was worse, was the condition of the child, who was malnourished to such an extent that her bones were clearly visible,” explains Anwar. Though all four children- two girls and two boys- were malnourished, the girl child has been physically assaulted too.
The child who had to bear the brunt of the grandmother’s brutality was the third child of her daughter.
“The child had not been fed properly for days. She also had injuries on her body, especially her legs because of the physical assault by the grandmother,” states Anwar.
The child is known to be the eldest from her mother’s second husband. Not much details are known about the husband apart from the fact that he had deserted the family a while ago. As far as what Anwar managed to understand, the family used to survive with the help provided by the locals as well as the daughter’s first husband.
“We were able to understand from the locals that everytime the grandmother fought with her daughter, she ordered that the daughter and her kids leave the house. She used to also beat this girl child,” says Anwar.
The children and the mother have been shifted to a shelter home and the Malappuram Childline has requested the Child Welfare Committee (CwC) for urgent medical assistance for all the children.
“We haven’t registered any case at the moment as we feel that it must be discussed with the CWC and the police,” adds Anwar.
However, according to a report by Asianet News on Wednesday, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has lashed out at the police for not registering a case regarding the incident. When TNM contacted the Kalikavu police station on Tuesday, a police official said that they have not registered a case as they had not received any complaint. But the CWC have criticised the police for not registering a Suo Motu case despite the police having the provision to do so.