Mom Drowns Her Five Kids in India’s Ganga River After Altercation with Husband
A mother of five reportedly threw her children into the Ganga river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh’s Bhadohi district early Sunday morning after an alleged altercation with her husband. The youngest child was a three-year-old boy.
The Ganga river is deep. The woman has been identified as Manju. Her children are aged 12, 10, 8, 6 and 3.
The media initially speculated that food scarcity in the subcontinent due to the coronavirus lockdown had been the driving force behind her extreme behavior. However, in a video interview with police, it was later clarified that the COVID-19 lockdown was not the cause of the drownings.
India’s NDTV reported that a police officer said: “a search for the children is on.” The officer added, “Our priority is to rescue the children as soon as possible, We will carry out other investigations later.” However, according to a local publication, the Hindustan Times, the children are believed to be dead.
According to Asian News International (ANI), the woman confessed to committing the crime and told police, “I pushed my 5 children into the Ganga river after a fight with my husband. He always beats me.”
Here is a transcript from a video posted to Twitter by the Bhadohi Police in which an officer is questioning Manju, who appears to be startled (video has been translated from Hindi to English):
Officer: Speak loudly.
Manju: I put them in the water.
Officer: Why did you do this?
Manju: Tension in my mind.
Officer: What kind of stress? Family, food, etc.?
Manju: I had some arguments and fights that caused stress.
Officer: With whom did you fight?
Manju: With my husband.
Officer: What was the issue?
Manju: He used to fight with and beat me.
Officer: How many kids do you have?
Manju: Two boys and three girls.
Officer: What time did you bring the kids to the River Ganga?
Manju: I did not see the time.
According to the Superintendent of Bhadohi Police Ram Badan Singh, reports that Manju had jumped into the water after her she threw her kids in were false. Locals who were working in fields nearby who saw the incident and heard the children’s cries reportedly rushed to try and rescue the youth, but did not succeed.
Manju is reportedly a daily wage earner and while she cited a domestic incident as triggering her behavior, countless other daily wage and migrant workers in India have been placed under tremendous financial and emotional strain over the global COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
On April 15, India’s government imposed a mandatory 21-day national lockdown. Based on the World Bank’s poverty line of $3.2 per day income for a country like India, it is likely that the bottom 50 percentile of the subcontinent’s population will run out of cash.
According to a survey by a Jan Sahas, a civil society-focused nonprofit in India, at least 93% of day laborers have so far lost their one to three weeks of livelihood amid the lockdown, with over 80% of the country’s migrant and daily-wage population facing the prospect of starvation before the lockdown comes to an end.