Three Minor Sisters ‘Starve’ to Death in Delhi, Probe Ordered
The neighborhood in which the three sisters were found dead  at Mandawali area, in New Delhi. 
The neighborhood in which the three sisters were found dead at Mandawali area, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Three Minor Sisters ‘Starve’ to Death in Delhi, Probe Ordered

Three sisters – aged two, four and eight – were found dead in their house in Delhi’s Mandawali area. The autopsy reports are suggesting that they died because of hunger, officials said on Wednesday, 25 July. The government has begun a magisterial probe into the incident that has shocked people in the national capital.

Police said the three victims, aged two, four and eight years, were found unconscious in their one-room house by their neighbours around 1 pm on Tuesday in Mandawali area of east Delhi. No injury marks were found on the bodies.

When their neighbours went to the house, they discovered that the girls were numb, while their mother, who was also present in the house, did not know anything.
Pankaj Kumar Singh, deputy commissioner of police

Children Had Not Eaten in Nine Days

Medical Superintendent of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital Dr Amita Saxena said that the children had no traces of fat in their bodies,

It was as if they they had not eaten anything for 8-9 days.
Dr Amita Saxena, Medical Superintendent, Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital

The doctors from the Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital, who conducted the initial post-mortem added that the children had died of starvation triggered by a prolonged period of malnutrition.

The primary cause of death was definitely starvation; the children might have had infections or diarrhoea but the underlying cause is severe malnutrition. The condition of the organs, according to the post-mortem report, showed that there was prolonged malnutrition.
Senior doctor, Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital

Minors’ Mother is Mentally Challenged and Was Unable to Look After Her Kids: Police

The mother, along with the neighbours, took the kids to the Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) Hospital, where they were declared dead. "The family had shifted to Mandawali at a relative's place a few days back," said Singh.

The father, a casual labourer, had lost his e-rickshaw and has been missing since Tuesday morning. The minors' mother, the police said, is mentally challenged, and was unable to look after her children.

While police claimed that the case was still being investigated and that the cause of death was not yet known, the medical superintendent at LBS Hospital, Amita Saxena, said the kids died of hunger, going by the first autopsy conducted at the hospital.

She said a second post-mortem was conducted at a different hospital because "in such a sensitive case, there is a need to be doubly sure", and that too revealed the same cause of death – starvation.

According to the neighbours, the eldest girl had gone to school on Tuesday while the other two had been sick for few days.

A sub-divisional magistrate was also sent to the house to conduct the probe, a Delhi government official said.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in a tweet, said he would visit the house on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission of India(NHRC) has issued a notice to the Centre and Delhi Government over the death of the children.

BJP and Congress Criticise AAP

The opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, flayed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on the issue.

The BJP said that instead of playing politics over ration distribution, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government should concentrate on meeting the basic needs of the people.

"Such a sad incident is happening in Delhi where the government claims to be championing the cause of providing ration to the poor," Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said.

He said that such an incident in a constituency represented by Sisodia had "saddened" him and a thorough inquiry was necessary, and that the society too should take notice and come forward to help the destitute.

The Congress claimed that the bodies had been shifted to the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital to get the "desired autopsy report".

In a series of tweets in Hindi, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said: "Three kids die due to starvation in Delhi's Mandawali. Post-mortem being shifted to GTB Hospital from LBS Hospital in a bid to get the desired reports. This family doesn't have the ration card. The number of ration cards has gone down to 15 lakh from 33.5 lakh during earlier Congress rule in Delhi."

We had alerted the Delhi government earlier that about nine lakh eligible families were denied the ration cards. Three kids have died due to starvation in the constituency of Sisodia, who is buying a new vehicle worth Rs 20 lakh.
Ajay Maken, Delhi Congress chief

He also said that he will visit the bereaved family on Thursday morning.

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(With inputs from IANS.)

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