Muslim preacher, father sent to jail for denying breast milk to newborn

Kozhikode (Kerala): A Muslim religious preacher and the father of a new-born were taken into custody on Saturday for advising against breast-feeding of the infant until the fifth azan (prayer) call, and were sent to jail for two days.

The police acted after the new-born’s mother, despite repeated persuasion by the doctor and paramedical staff, refused to breast-feed her second child after delivery on Wednesday at 1.30 p.m. due to religious reasons.

Abubacker, the father of the newborn, was taken into custody on Friday. After questioning him, the police called in the Muslim preacher, Hydrose Thangal, early on Saturday and took him into custody.

A police officer told IANS that the arrest of the two was first recorded and they were produced before a court near here, which sent them to two days judicial custody.

“The mother also has been named as an accused, but since she is convalescing after delivery, action against her will come later,” said the official.

The police have registered a case against the parents under the Juvenile Justice Act for denying the infant its rights.

Angry protesters on Saturday marched to the house of the religious preacher for his “advice”.