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3 girls who starved to death in Delhi's Mandawali may have been poisoned: Report

Police had initially treated it as cases of natural death, but suspicion has turned to poisoning.

3 girls who starved to death in Delhi's Mandawali may have been poisoned: Report
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NEW DELHI: The three girl children who were starved to death in Delhi's Mandawali may have been poisoned by their father, the preliminary inquiry report has said. The report, submitted by the sub-divisional magistrate, has further found that the starvation was not a result of poverty, since there was money in the bank account of the eldest girl.

The deaths of the three children after eight days of starvation on July 24 caused widespread shock. They had been rushed to the hospital by neighbours, and were declared dead on arrival. The Delhi government had responded by ordering a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

The sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) conducting the inquiry submitted the report to the government on Friday, reported news agency ANI. The report said that the nutritional condition of the three children at the time of their death was 'not well', and that they were suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.

The information in the report is also suggestive that the girls may have been intentionally starved. It noted that an amount of Rs 1805 was available in a bank account in the name of the eldest of the three children.

The mother of the children is mentally unstable, and hence unable to provide a coherent account of what happened.

The SDM's report also pointed to the possibility that it is no accident that the three girls may have died on the same day. "Fact that all three died on same day (24 July), and their father gave them an unknown medicine by mixing it in hot water on night of 23 July, and that he hasn't returned since morning of July 24, raise an element of doubt and require further probe," said the SDM's report, according to ANI.

The report also called for a deeper investigation to gain a clear picture of what happened. More information may become available when the viscera and post mortem reports are provided by the GTB Hospital.

The local police initially treated the case as natural death, but began probing other possibilities after recovering pills and medicine bottles from the children's house.

The father of the girls is a labourer who has not returned home since Tuesday. Neighbours say the family had only recently taken the house on rent.

(With inputs from ANI)