Indian schoolgirl kills baby after secret birth in hostel - report

by Nita Bhalla | @nitabhalla | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 8 January 2014 17:40 GMT

A schoolgirl holds a container to receive her free mid-day meal, distributed by a government-run primary school, at Brahimpur village in Chapra district of the eastern Indian state of Bihar, India, July 19, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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Girl panicked after hiding pregnancy and giving birth secretly

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A 16-year-old schoolgirl in southern India killed her newborn baby by throwing it from the window of her school hostel after secretly giving birth, the Press Trust of India reported on Wednesday.

The girl, who was studying at a state-run residential school in Andhra Pradesh, gave birth in the hostel early on Tuesday but panicked and threw the baby, a boy, from the window of the hostel toilet, the report quoted police as saying.

"… it was found that the girl's marriage was fixed with her aunt's son. When she had gone to her house ... during the vacations last year, they had physical relations which resulted in her pregnancy," a senior police officer was quoted as saying.

"The girl subsequently returned to the hostel and used to tell her teachers that she was unwell …she kept mum about her pregnancy and used to cover her stomach. Apparently, the nursing staff who used to conduct health checkups also failed to notice it," he added.

Police have registered a case against the girl for "an act done with intent to prevent a child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth," the report said.

The father of the baby has been charged with rape, as the age of consent in India is 18.

Pre-marital sex is socially unacceptable in much of conservative India and girls who have been found to have had sex outside marriage are often shamed or ostracised by their families and communities.

Earlier this week, activists criticised an Indian judge for calling pre-marital sex "immoral" and saying it was “against the tenets of every religion" when giving his verdict in a rape case.

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