(This was originally published on http://africanjungle.iblog.co.za on 23 July, 2010)
This is heartbreaking.
Yet again, I report on a mother killing her children because she believed they were autistic.
A woman living in Texas named Saiqa Akjhter murdered her two children, 5-year-old son Zain and 2-year-old daughter Faryaal. As was the case with Stephanie Rochester, she believed they were autistic. News reports here,here, here and here.
According to the reports, shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday the 19th July, Saiqa Akhter dialled 911 from the family’s apartment. She confessed to murdering her two children. She had first tried to poison them with drain cleaner, but they refused to swallow it so she then strangled them with antenna wire. Her reason for killing them? They were autistic and she wanted “normal kids.”
When police arrived at Akjhter’s apartment in Irving, Texas, they found both children lying on a bed with antenna wire nearby. Zain was dead but Faryaal showed signs of life. They rushed her to hospital where she was declared dead. Akjhter has been charged with two counts of murder. Experts say she was suffering from depression and wasn’t getting the support that she needed and could have received.
The reports say that Zain was in fact autistic but that Faryaal probably wasn’t. Both are still dead.
Words fail me.