The death of six children of a couple in a span of nine years in a family in Malappuram has raised suspicion. A police case has been registered following a complaint after a three-month-old child of the family died on Tuesday.
Police exhumed the body, which was buried in the morning, and took it to the district hospital at Tirur for post-mortem.
The infant was the sixth child of the couple, Tharammal Rafiq and Shabna, police said.
"A case has been registered (for unnatural death) in the matter to verify the death beyond any suspicion raised by locals since five other children of the couple had died in the past nine years," said Superintendent of Police (SP), Abdul Karim U.
The couple had three boys and three girls of which the third girl child lived till the age of four and the rest died before turning one.
"The post-mortem was done on Wednesday. We are collecting the medical records of the children who had passed away earlier. We will identify the cause of death after analysing the records and discuss the matter with forensic doctors," Suresh Babu KA, Tirur Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) said.
The DySP added that the postmortem will be done the earliest to ascertain the cause of death. "We cannot tell anything until the autopsy is done. At present we cannot tell whether it was an unnatural death. We have taken no one in custody. We have taken a case based on the statement given by the father's relative who is a panchayat councilor there. We request the public not to spread fake news," said SP.
Other relatives of the family told the media that they believed there was nothing suspicious in the death of the children and that doctors have said it was due to some genetic disease.
"The first child died at 6 months, the second one just 55 days old during time of death and third child was 25 days old. When the third child died, we requested the doctor to conduct a postmortem. The post mortem said the child had an epileptic attack. During the pregnancy this time, they had done all the tests, some tests were sent to Hyderabad. Everything was normal. The child was completely normal until today morning.There is no mystery. But we will completely cooperate with the investigation. We agreed to exhume the child's body," Noorjahan, Rafiq's sister told media.
"The post-mortem of the third child was conducted and the doctors said the death was due to some genetic problems. They said they were helpless," another relative said, adding that the family was ready to face any probe.
Sources said the baby was taken to a hospital but was dead prior to reaching the hospital early this morning.
(With inputs from PTI)