Baby girl found in bag pronounced dead

An abandoned baby girl who was discovered inside a bag at a residence in Maafanu, Malé, has been pronounced dead today.

The baby was discovered at midnight last night, police told Minivan News, estimating that the she had been left inside the bag since yesterday.

Police then took the baby to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), where the child was pronounced dead at 1pm today. Local media have reported the incident to have been infanticide.

The mother of the baby has not yet been taken into custody, added police, who declined to give any other information about the mother and father of the child.

Local newspaper Haveeru has reported family members as saying that the cause of death was suffocation.

Sources from the family, who had not been aware of the pregnancy, were also reported to have said the 18-year-old had given birth alone in the bathroom of her residence on Friday.

“From her stomach, or her actions, we were not aware that she was pregnant. However we previously questioned her about her not getting her menstruation periods,” a family member told the paper.

“She replied then that her periods are irregular, and that it is the norm to have three or four month delays. She was agile and often climbed up the stairs to the third floor with bottles of water and things quite easily. However, it raised suspicions that on Friday she was often clutching her belly,” the family source continued.

The family member said that people in the household had questioned her out of concern on Friday as she was bleeding profusely. The girl, however, refused to admit anything was wrong though the family eventually took her to hospital.

“She didn’t admit to anything even after she was taken into hospital on Friday. However, doctors kept questioning her about her marital status,” a young female member of the girl’s family told Haveeru.

“Then yesterday she confessed that she gave birth alone and flushed the baby down the toilet. The people of this house were sleepless with fright when today she said she gave birth and put the baby into a suitcase in the room.”

Family reported the matter to police after the girl’s confession. The mother is still hospitalised.

The family is said to have expressed regret about the incident, stating that they would have taken care of the infant if the girl had confessed rather than resorting to infanticide.

Issues regarding a lack of support services for women with unwanted pregnancies in the Maldives have been well-documented in the past.

A report entitled ‘Maldives Operational Review for the ICPD Beyond 2014‘, carried out by the Department of National Planning, claimed that incidents of infanticide and unsafe abortions are symptoms of a lack of sexual education in young Maldivians.

The report identified, “clear indicators of the imperative need to provide access to information on sexual reproductive health and reproductive health services to the sexually active adolescents and youth population.”

Infanticide also appears to be increasing, as demonstrated by media reports cited in the study, which included several new born babies and few premature babies abandoned in parks, buried in secluded places, or thrown into the sea.

“These are clear indications for the need of life skills programmes and reproductive health education,” the study suggested. “Access and utilisation of contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancies must also be advocated to minimise these issues.”


Three arrested in connection with drug cases

Police have arrested three persons in connection with three different drug related cases.

In a statement issued today the police said a 36 year-old man was arrested from the island of Dhaandhoo Island in Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Police said the man had thrown away something on seeing police officers on patrol on the street, and when police officers examined the items they found it was a cellophane packed with illegal drugs.

Another 26 year-old man was also arrested from the island on May 6 with five cellophane packets containing illegal drugs.

The third person was arrested in Malé on May 5 with six rubber packets containing illegal drugs. The man had run away from the police when he was stopped on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs.

But police officers managed to arrest him and take him to Maafannu Police Station.


Gang stab minor six times

A minor aged under 18 fainted after he was stabbed six times in the back by a gang on Friday, on Izudheen Road in front of Maafannu Cemetery in Male’.

According to police, the boy was stabbed six times in his back and once in his left hand, and fainted on the spot due to the injuries.

The assailants threw away the knives they used in attack and fled on motorbikes against the one way sign boards.

People at the area carried the boy to Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) on a motorbike. He is currently being treated at the hospital.

In a statement, police said the case was reported to police at about 3:15pm on Friday.

Local newspapers reported that the assailants threw the knives they used in the attack into the water drain on the roa, but witnesses recovered the knives and handed them to police.

Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News that two persons had been arrested in connection with the case.

Haneef said further details about the persons arrested or the investigation could not be disclosed at the time.

‘’We will provide details later,’’ Haneef added.

On the first of this month, Ali Shifan ‘Tholhi Palay’, 33 of Fairy Corner house was stabbed to death near West Park Restaurant on Boduthakurufaanu Road.

A friend of Shifan told Minivan News at the time that Shifan was attacked while he was waiting in front of West Park Restaurant for a friend.

‘’He was having a coffee inside West Park Restaurant and went out because a friend of him was coming to see him,’’ he said. ‘’He was waiting with another friend and this group shows up with sharp weapons.’’

Last month a 21 year-old man, identified as Abdul Muheeth of G. Veyru, was rushed to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) after he was stabbed at 1:45am near the Finance Ministry building. He later died during treatment.

Police later said that the assailants mistakenly attacked him and that he had no criminal record or affiliations with gangs either.