Baby Afreen’s father blames his wife for the tragedy
, saying she often used to beat the child. When asked why he never did anything to stop her, he had no answer.
The most execrated man in Bangalore today, 22-year-old Umar Farooq, who is widely seen in the people’s court as having caused the death of his three-month-old daughter, Neha Afreen, is veering towards a predictable-enough stance
Just two days after confessing to the K G Halli police that he was responsible for his baby girl’s death, he is singing a different tune.
When Mirror caught up with him on Friday in the Parappana Agrahara central jail, where he is confined to a high-security cell, a teary Farooq said he was not the one who ‘killed’ his daughter. He had been framed.
He went to the extent of blaming his wife Reshma Banu for the tragedy. “I am being condemned without being given an opportunity to defend myself,” he said.
Warming up to his new script (was it inspired by suggestions that his statement to the police would not be admissible in a court, or was it just his survival instinct kicking in?), he said, “I have not eaten anything for two days since I heard that my child Afreen was no more.
With whom should I share my pain? I am like any other father. I loved my child as any father did and I am in pain as much as any father would be.”
When asked pointedly whether he was responsible for his child’s death, Farooq protested vehemently.
“It was I who first wanted her (Reshma Banu) to rush the child to a hospital, but she did not allow me to touch the baby. I don’t understand what grave mistake I had committed that I was not allowed to touch my baby. It was she who used to beat the baby,” he claimed.
However, when asked why he did nothing to stop his wife from beating the child, Farooq had no answer.” I never got an opportunity to defend myself. The moment the baby was admitted and it came out in the media, everyone started passing judgment that I was guilty. I am being charged with many things which I am not even aware of.”
“She has been telling everybody that she brought (home) Rs 5,000 once, Rs 10,000 once and Rs 1 lakh once. I don’t understand from where she brought that money and to whom she gave it. Did she show any proof while making these charges? But in spite of all this, I don’t hate her. If she wants khula (seeking divorce), let her.
Why should I give talaq (divorce)? I never committed any mistake. It was she and her relatives who hated me, prevented me getting close to my child and spread falsehoods about me and my relatives. I always loved my child and liked her,” he said.
Was he hostile towards Afreen because she was a girl child and therefore attempted to kill her? Farooq countered with a vigorous denial. “I never hated her because she was a baby girl. I loved her a lot. If I hadn’t loved her, I would have not undergone such pain. I am not able to cope and haven’t eaten anything since I heard the news of her death. It’s a curse that I couldn’t see my baby, whom I loved like any other father.
Even my parents used to love the child. Reshma’s allegations that we used to beat the child are not true. The true facts will come out and I will get justice. But I loved my child a lot and I will suffer for her loss forever,” he said.