In an inebriated state, a man allegedly attacked his wife, who was four months' pregnant, with a sickle after a priest predicted that "their sixth child would also be a girl". The woman is undergoing treatment at a medical facility in Bareilly and her condition is stated to be critical.
The woman was a mother of five minor daughters and the incident took place in the Civil Lines area on Saturday. According to the police, the husband, Pannalal, 43, a labourer, returned home in an inebriated condition and picked up an argument with his wife Anita Devi, 40, forcing her to abort the child.
When Anita refused, Pannalal attacked her with a sickle on her abdomen.
The neighbours, meanwhile, arrived at the scene and rushed Anita to the district hospital.
Emergency medical officer at the district hospital Dr. Rajesh Kumar Verma said, "A woman with multiple injuries on her stomach and chest was brought to the hospital. Her injuries were grave and possibly caused by a sharp-edged weapon. We have referred her to a higher medical facility given her critical condition."
Anita's younger brother Ravi Kumar said, "My brother-in-law used to beat up my sister often for giving birth to five daughters. Even my parents tried to resolve the problem, but no one had ever imagined that he would take such a cruel step."
Civil Lines police station SHO Sudhakar Pandey said, "We have detained the accused and he is being questioned."
The SHO added that they had been waiting for a written complaint from the woman's family to register a case in this connection.