‘She was calm & quiet’: Principal remembers Fathima, Kerala teen poisoned by her father

Fourteen-year-old Fathima fought for around 10 days in hospital, but succumbed to her injuries on November 7.
Fathima and her house
Fathima and her house
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It has been over twelve days since Fathima’s seat has remained unoccupied in her school. She went to school on Friday, October 27 and returned home as usual. On October 29, everything changed. Fathima, a Class 10 student of a private school in Karumalloor of Aluva, Ernakulam district, became a victim of filicide. Her father, Abees, assaulted her with an iron road and forced her to ingest a toxic pesticide after an argument about her romantic relationship with a classmate from a different faith. Fourteen-year-old Fathima fought for around 10 days in hospital and died on November 7.

“She was calm and quiet, at the same time very active. We all are shocked after this unfortunate incident. Her class teacher and classmates are still in pain and the school is giving them needed counselling,” the school principal said.

Her school principal said she was absent on October 30, Monday and they sent a message to her parent's phone number about her absence as usual. Two days later, on November 1, they came to know that she was in hospital. They visited the hospital and met with her, but her condition was critical at that time. “A few teachers and I went to the hospital. I consoled her and she was not able to speak, she just nodded her head,” the principal recalled.

Read: Parental love is the sickest justification for Fathima’s murder by her father in Kerala

According to one of her relatives, the incident was only known to Fathima’s mother, siblings, and Abees’s sisters.

Abees, an engineer with a private firm, was taken to her in the hospital, and he was there in the hospital till he was taken into custody. “Her mother is still in shock,” Fathima’s relative Binu Abdul Kareem said.

On November 1, police arrested Abees and only then did the relatives and others come to know about this horrific incident. “We do not know anything directly. I called the police station after the police took him into custody. Only then did I come to know about the incident. Even close relatives heard about it only on November 1,” Binu added.

According to the school, they did not know about her relationship and the family situation. “We don’t know about this. These kinds of infatuations are common in this adolescent period and if we knew about her father’s objection, we would have talked to him. Now, we are planning to conduct a positive parenting class for the parents,” the principal added.

Fathima was taken to Aster Medicity on October 29 with severe damage to her internal organs. The hospital informed the Aluva West police station. The district magistrate visited the hospital and recorded a statement from Fathima, her mother and other relatives. 

According to the neighbours, Fathima’s house has been locked since October 29. Fathima’s mother and siblings are said to be currently living at her grandparents’ house in Vyttila and her funeral took place in Kaloor Juma Masjid on October 8.  

Abees has confessed to the crime and he has been booked under sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 324 (hurting using a dangerous weapon), 326 A (causing grievous injury) and 307 (murder attempt) of the Indian Penal Code and section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act (person in charge of a child either physically abuses, abandons, mistreats or willfully neglect the child). 

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