5-year-old boy brutally attacked by father and step-mom
Inflicted with 150 wounds, 70 percent brain damage and physical violence for over 3 years. Does any child deserve this? And from the very people who brought him into this world?
India’s most literate state, Kerala is known for two things — Firstly, healthcare development with basic health indicators matching those of many developed countries.
Secondly, top tourism city which brings in foreign currency to the state and contributes to its economy.
However, Kerala also known as ‘God’s own country’ is gaining a reputation for the rapid increase in cases of violence against children. The darker side was exposed when the story about a 5-year-old boy who was admitted to a hospital after being brutally attacked by his father and step-mother hit the headlines.
Violence against children: Latest case may shock you!
Shafeeq was reportedly brought to the hospital in an unconscious state on July 16 by his father P. Sherif. The labourer inflicted serious injuries on his son because of his anger towards his first wife Remya, Shafeeq’s mother.
The child had been the victim of physical violence for the past three years. Doctors say Shafeeq has around 150 wound marks on his body. The blows inflicted on his head with a steel pipe have caused 70 per cent damage to his brain. Starved for many days, the child is severely underweight and weighs only 20 kg.
He has been on a ventilator for over a week at St John’s Hospital in Kerala’s hill district Idukki.
Based on a complaint filed by NGO Childline the police arrested Sherif (27) and his second wife Alisha (26) on July 16. They have been charged with attempted murder.
Cases of brutality
Shafeeq’s case is not an isolated one. A few months earlier Adithi, a seven-year-old girl, was also tortured by her father and stepmother in Kozhikode. Unfortunately, she died in hospital. Her parents are charged with murder.
Five years ago, a young child who was chained in the courtyard of his home and forced to share food with a dog, shocked the society. The memory of this still lingers in the minds of people because of the extent of cruelty shown by parents towards their own children.
According to National Crime Records Bureau, violence against children in Kerala has almost doubled in the last two years. The main reason for the growing violence is the rampant rise in alcohol consumption and drug abuse.
Steps taken so far
It is only after the public uproar that a district collector was appointed to monitor Shafeeq’s treatment. A committee has also been formed to look into cases of violence against children.
As an immediate step, the government of Kerala has directed all schools to report any incidents of torture at any place, for which, counseling measures would be initiated. Also, hospitals have been asked to examine children in detail if they suspect ill-treatment and torture.
A stronger framework should be set up to curb this inhuman treatment towards innocent children. How can children fight for their rights to a safe and loving home when their own parents mistreat them? Tell us what you think.