A new magisterial probe in Delhi has hinted that the three children, who reportedly died of starvation last week, may have been poisoned by their own father, Mangal.
SDM Arun Gupta has reportedly asked the police to launch a new probe examining the poison angle in light of more revelations. Earlier reports had suggested that the children, all aged below 10 years, were suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, when they were admitted in a local hospital. The father, it was alleged, had administered some medicine to them before leaving the house.
Mangal, who continues to remain untraceable, has reportedly avoided visiting the house fearing his arrest. The SDM has asked the police to hunt for Mangal, but made it clear that the children indeed suffered from malnutrition.
Gupta reportedly said that all three children had taken ill due to stomach infection on Monday last week. Instead of administering them ORS, Mangal had given them some medicine with hot water before leaving the house quietly.
Mangal’s wife Beena is also currently undergoing treatment in a local hospital and cops are waiting for her to recover before interviewing her for more details on her husband and about the case.
Mangal, victim of bad times
According to local residents of Mandawali’s Saket Block, Mangal lived happily as he ran a tea stall in the neighbourhood. A local neighbour, Harichand Gola, an owner of a photo studio, said that tea stall was earning him good money from 2012 till 2016, when he was forced to lose control of his business. And that’s where his downfall started.
A report by Hindustan Times said that Mangal’s tea stall ran into financial trouble sometime in 2016 as he lost control of it because of his inability to pay the lease. He took up a new job as a rickshaw puller, but got addicted to alcohol. It was during this period when he was also diagnosed with diabetes.
His health deteriorated further after he injured his leg and could not pay for its treatment, which adversely affected his walk. His neighbours said that Mangal worked hard despite facing incredible hardships.
Recounting his good times, Gola said that once Mangal had taken his wife and three children to his studio for getting a family photo clicked. This, Gola said, was a sign that he loved his family and, therefore, was willing to incur extra expense on this exercise.
Questions are also being raised on how the family was allowed to suffer from starvation despite an aanganwadi centre being located less than 100 meters away from where the family lived. The aanganwadi centre would feed 50 children everyday, but those children did not include Mangal’s three children, aged eight, four and two.