September 2nd, 2016
A harrowing case of gender discrimination and superstition unfolded in the Nellor city of Andhra Pradesh on August 19th.
Girija, a 28-year-old pregnant woman was attacked with acid because an astrologer that she was going to give birth to a girl child.
The acid was thrown on her stomach by her in-laws, while she was sleeping. Girija, was immediately taken to the hospital by her neighbours. She suffered nearly 30 percent burns and is now in the process of recovering.
She has filed a police complaint against her in-laws. Her husband and father-in-law have already been arrested on charges of “attempt to murder”.
Girija narrated that the incident was prompted because of the prediction made by an astrologer. Her mother-in-law had allegedly started mentally harassing her, after the astrologer had predicted that Girija would give birth to a girl child. She would face constant threats and was coerced into getting money from her parents as possible compensation for bearing a girl child.
Girija had married Sriramalu two years back and already has a one-year-old daughter. The police are investigating the matter. They are looking specifically, into the type of acid that was used and its purchase. Both of which will form crucial evidence, for the trials. This is mainly because the open sale of acid has been banned in India since 2013, due to its increasing misuse.
A 2011 Andhra Pradesh census, reports state the State’s child sex ration is 939 for every 1000 male child. From such figures, a clear inference can be drawn about the preference of a male child in the State.