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Home > News > Specials

The Rediff Special/Vijay Singh in Bharuch

February 09, 2004

He killed his daughters one by one

Roshan's world turned upside downon February 5after her husband Salim Ghulam Hasan Sheikh called her up to sayhe had seated their five daughters in a train and was going to commit suicide.

The couple had six children -- Shagufta, 7, Rukhsan, 6, Yasmeen, 5, Samreen, 4, Suhana, 3, and an 8-month-old son Shabbir (below, right).

It later turned out that Salim had taken his daughters to the Sardar bridge near Bharuch in Gujarat over the Narmada river. He let them play among themselves and, over a period of two hours, threw them into the river one by one. Immersed in their games, the children were not aware of what their father was doing.

After throwing all of them into the river, he tried to jump into the river too,but was spotted by a truck driver who tried to stop him.Salimthen ran away.

Search parties had tillthe evening of February 7 found the bodies of two girls.

Roshan isin a state of shock.

On Saturday, the police arrested Salim.

Roshan's family is based in Valay village close to Varedia in Bharuch district."I have three daughters -- Farida, Roshan, Saira," her father Valibhai told "My family's financial condition isvery bad, which forced me to get my children married as soon as possible."

He sought his cousin's help to find a suitable boy for Roshan. The latter suggestedSalim, a native of Surat. The two were married in 1993 when Salim was 24 and Roshan only 14. They had their first child in 1996.

"After their marriage," says Valibhai, "I discoveredthat Salim was already married to Razia, agirl in Mumbai, but was separated from her."

Salim had also told Valibhai that he hailedfrom Ahmedabad. Later, Valibhai discoveredthat Salim did not have anyhome there though some of his relatives did stay in the city.One of the daughters killed. Photo courtesy Roshan's family

Salim lost his father when he was nine. He and his sister Aminastudied in a civic school in Surat till Standard IV. Two other siblings, Kassam and Sadiq, didn't do any schooling.

"When father died," Amina told"all of a sudden all the responsibility came upon us forcing us to take up whatever work we got to support ourselves and our mother. In due course, the distance between usgrew. Our elder brother Kassam has a paan-bidi shop in Nainital (a Surat locality). He does not keep in touch with us.This happened in Salim's case too. Sadiq is unmarried, drives an autorickshaw and stays with us."

Salim worked in a gambling den and also drove an autorickshaw. About three years ago, the gambling den closed down, reducing his income. He foundit difficult to survive on the income of the autorickshaw alone.

During the post-Godhra riots, he left Surat and began staying in his father-in-law's house at Valay in Bharuch district. He drovean autorickshaw in Surat and visited Valay twice a week.

About nine months ago, Valibhaisaid, Salim tooka house on rent in nearby Varedia village. Just before Ramzan in November, he stopped going to Surat for work. He drove an autorickshaw in the village. He had borrowed about Rs 7,000 but nobodyforced him to return their money."

"Salim used to love his daughters very much. It is difficult to believe that hethrew them into the river. I don't think his action was prompted by eitherdebt or the pressure of having bring up several girls. It is something else. He did not owe money to anyone in Surat as far as we know," Amina told

Amina has a daughter, butseparated from her husband some time ago. She liveswith her daughter andmotherin a slum. Both adult women stitchclothes for a living.

"Salim's familyvisited us on December 29. They were very happy. All of a sudden, we hear this shocking news," Amina told

Roshan is in a state of shock. She has not eaten anything after takingSalim's phone call.

Siddiqi Ghulam, Salim'sfriend at Varedia, has had four daughters in the quest for a son. This, after three of his children died at birth. His wifeeven suggested that he marry another woman to have a boy.

"Sons are considered crucial for furthering the family name and hence, everyone desires a son," Siddiqi told "Salim is a very simple person, no vices. Our families are very close. My daughters werefriends of his daughters. He too wanted a son and thatresulted in five daughters before he finally got aboy."

Investigating Officer Sub-Inspector V J Patel told "Salimtold ushe always used to give his earnings to his wife, but lately the amount had come down, leading to frequent quarrels between them. Fed up, he decided to kill himself and his daughters."

Photographs: Vijay Singh

The Rediff Specials

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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: Let us all individually empower people

If each of us decide to educate/teach 1 individual in our lifetime 1 lifeskill we can make a difference.

Posted by Priya

Sub: About ur Article ...

The man is totally crazy and useless. If he cannot afford to train up his children then he shouldn't make his wife pregnant, and Killing ...

Posted by Soma

Sub: dowry

sir some people kill after the marrige for dowry now here in this case father killed it is so pathetic only god if at all ...


Sub: Kindness

Its really sad to see such news which has become common now a days. Our advices or messages will not solve the problem, the core ...

Posted by Raj

Sub: This is a sub heading under the main heading 'India Shining'

This is the incident came to highlight because of the truck driver. There are various incidents such as rape, murders, scams etc. Even the foreign ...

Posted by abdul subhan



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