A COUPLE from Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district was arrested by the Vadodara police on Thursday, for abandoning a day-old baby girl at the SSG hospital earlier this year.Working with closed circuit television camera footage, an intelligence network and official records, a team of policemen, in an investigation that began in Thane district and ended in Andhra Pradesh, arrested the couple less than a month after the baby was found.
According to Railway Police officials, the baby was found with a milk bottle lying next to her on a stone ledge built around a pole at around 4 pm on November 28. She was subsequently admitted to a shelter home run by a charitable trust in Dombivali.
“CCTV footage at Khadavli railway station showed a couple alighting from a Kasara-CST local at around 2:22 p.m., placing the child and the milk bottle on the ledge and walking away. We then checked CCTV footage at all railway stations between Kasara and Khadavli, and saw the couple boarding the train with the baby at Atgaon,” said an officer with the Kalyan Railway Police.
Inquiries with the sarpanch and residents at Atgaon established that a couple had been staying at a local poultry farm since November 19, but had left on November 28. Further investigations revealed that the woman hailed from Atgaon, and the police traced her parents, who identified the couple as Subhadra and Gorakh Yadav.
Subhadra’s parents told the police that Gorakh and Subhadra had eloped three years ago, and came to stay with her parents six months later. Following frequent fights, the couple ran away six months later after stealing money and clothes from the house. When they returned in November this year, they had the baby with them. Subhadra’s parents, however, refused to take them in.
“We obtained Gorakh’s cell phone number from Subhadra’s brother and analysed the call data records (CDRs), which placed him in Andhra Pradesh. We identified a frequently-dialled number. It belonged to Gorakh’s friend, who used to wait at a gathering point for daily wage labourers in Kalyan, which contractors visit every day to pick up labourers. We took this friend with us to Andhra,” the officer said.
The police, however, hit a roadblock when they were unable to get a fix on Gorakh’s location as his cell phone would be frequently switched off. Dipping into his CDRs again, the police identified a number from Andhra Pradesh which Gorakh had frequently dialled. The number belonged to an ambulance driver employed by the Sangareddy district hospital, and inquiries with him revealed that Subhadra had given birth to a girl on October 3.
The police obtained the couple’s address in Pashamylaram village from the hospital’s records. The police asked Gorakh’s friend to call him to the autorickshaw stand in the village to meet him. Gorakh was taken into custody as soon as he showed up. Subhadra was taken into custody from a factory in the village where she was working, and the couple was brought to Kalyan on Wednesday, after which they were arrested.
“The couple has claimed that after Subhadra’s parents turned them away, they found themselves unable to raise their daughter due to extreme poverty, and hence decided to abandon her. We will produce them in court on Thursday,” said Rupali Ambure, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central Railway.The couple has been booked under the Indian Penal Code for exposure or abandonment of a child under 12 years of age by a parent.