Budaun, May 24: A man who had slit his 8-month pregnant wife’s womb to check the sex of unborn child in Uttar Pradesh’s Budaun has been awarded life imprisonment. The decision was taken by Additional District and Sessions Judge Saurabh Saxena on Thursday. The incident occurred in the Civil Lines area of Budaun on September 19, 2020.

The Gruesome Incident

Panna Lal (46), driven by a misguided belief, attacked his 8-month pregnant wife, Anita Devi, with a sickle as he wanted to determine the gender of their unborn child. A village priest had convinced Panna that Anita was expecting another girl, and this irrational fear led him to commit an unthinkable act, reported TOI

Anita was rushed to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi by Budaun police, where doctors fought to save her life. Tragically, the baby boy she was carrying did not survive the brutal assault. Mumbai Shocker: Man Enters Elderly Woman's House in Malad, Kills Victim by Banging Her Head Against Wall for Rs 15,000; Arrested for Murder.

Police Action

Panna Lal faced charges under sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 313 (causing miscarriage without a woman’s consent) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The court found him guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment. A chargesheet was filed in 2021, detailing the horrific events that unfolded on the day.  Kashipur Horror: Woman Kills Stepdaughter, Buries Dead Body at Under-Construction Site in Uttarakhand, Arrested (Watch Video).

Accused Wanted a Boy

Anita's brother, Ravi Singh, revealed that Panna had long desired a male child. Despite having five daughters, Panna remained fixated on this misguided notion. When Anita became pregnant for the sixth time, Panna pressured her to abort, convinced that she was carrying yet another girl. Anita, however, stood her ground, determined to protect her unborn child.

Public prosecutor Atul Singh emphasised the severity of Panna's crime. Initially, the accused denied responsibility, claiming it was an accident. However, the court relied on compelling evidence and Anita's statement to secure a conviction. The judge recognised that this crime affected not only the individual victim but also society at large. As a result, Panna received the maximum punishment of life imprisonment. Additionally, the court imposed a cash fine of Rs 50,000 on him.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 24, 2024 10:37 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).