Passersby spotted the unclaimed lifeless bodies of the twins, wrapped in a blanket, in the fields near Toll Tax Plaza on Sheikhupura Road. STOCK IMAGE
FAISALABAD: In an incident of extreme callousness and disrespect for human life, premature twins were left to die in the freezing cold in suburban Faisalabad on Sunday.
Passersby spotted the unclaimed lifeless bodies of the twins, wrapped in a blanket, in the fields near Toll Tax Plaza on Sheikhupura Road and reported it to the police.
“A caller informed us about the bodies of two newborns lying in the fields near Toll Tax Plaza,” SHO Millat Town police station Muhammad Afzal told The Express Tribune. “I rushed to the spot, took the bodies into custody and registered a case under Section 329 of the Pakistan Penal Code,” he added.
SHO Afzal speculated that the twins might have been illegitimate and their mother might have abandoned them to ‘conceal her crime’. ASI Shahid Ali, the investigation officer of the case, told The Express Tribune that they did not perform autopsies on the bodies and buried them in the local graveyard with the help of villagers.
“The twins were prematurely born and could not survive in the cold,” Ali said, adding that investigations were ongoing and they would soon trace those who abandoned the newborns to die in the cold.
Human rights campaigner Amina Zaman said, “The government should launch a nationwide campaign for the protection of abandoned babies who are often thrown callously in the fields, ditches and garbage pits etc, alive or dead.”
Renowned social scientist Dr Zafar Iqbal called for setting up cradles at various locations where women could leave their unwanted newborns anonymously. The Edhi Foundation has already set up such ‘baby cradles’ at a few locations in the city. “Last year, we received 11 newborns – five males and six females – in these cradles in Faisalabad alone,” Abid Lateef Kamboh, the Edhi Circle in charge, told The Express Tribune. “Of these, two were born prematurely and died in the cradles.”
Executive Director Association of the Women for Awareness and Motivation Nazia Sardar advised people to leave their unwanted babies in Edhi cradles instead of throwing them in the fields or on garbage heaps. “Issueless couples could adopt them and bring them up,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2015.