The baby was breastfed only after 24 hours, after all the five calls for prayers were made.

Kerala police arrest father Muslim preacher for depriving newborn of breast milk
news Crime Saturday, November 05, 2016 - 13:36

The Mukkam police in Kozhikode arrested two men on Saturday in connection with forbidding a woman from breastfeeding a newborn, citing "religious" reasons.

Aboobacker, the father of the baby and a Muslim preacher Hydrose Koya Thangal were arrested based on a complaint filed by EMS hospital in the district.

Though the first accused in the case is the baby's mother Hafsath, the police told The News Minute that the mother was not arrested as she had only recently given birth to the child. 

Aboobacker and the 75-year-old preacher Hydrose Koya Thangal are the second and third accused respectively. A case has been filed against them according to provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act. 

The preacher was arrested from his residence at Kalanthode in Kozhikode district. 

On Wednesday, Omassery native Aboobacker refused to allow his wife Hafsath to breastfeed their newborn infant citing religious reasons. 

Read: Kerala Muslim man forbids wife from breastfeeding newborn, cites religious reasons

Despite the intervention of the hospital staff and the police, Aboobacker maintained that the baby should be given breast milk only after the five calls for prayer were made.

The baby was breastfed the next day, 24 hours after birth. Justifying his action, Aboobacker had told The News Minute that he acted on the instruction of a Muslim preacher.

“We are not starving the baby, we have been giving him honey and water brought from Mecca. There’s nothing dangerous in doing so, I did the same with my elder son and he is absolutely healthy now. I have been running the family according to Thangal's advice for many years,” Aboobacker had said.

The Social Justice Department and Kerala State Commission for Child Rights Protection have intervened in the matter. 


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