In a major development in the controversial missing baby case of Anupama S Chandran in Kerala, the Child Welfare Committee in Thiruvananthapuram has issued an order directing the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare (KSCCW) to bring back the child to Kerala within five days.
The one-year-old boy, currently in foster care of a couple in Andhra Pradesh, is suspected to be the child of Anupama, who has accused her parents of giving away her child soon after birth without her consent as she was not married at the time. The parents have refuted the allegation.
The child was taken by the KSCCW and after due procedure, made available for adoption under the CWC. The child is now under the care of foster parents in Andhra Pradesh as the adoption process has been stayed by a court.
“When the child is brought back to the state, a DNA test will be carried out to identify his biological parents,” as per the order, which also directed to provide the baby an escort of a Special Juvenile Police Unit during his journey from Hyderabad.
The development came as a relief for Anupama and her partner Ajith, who are on a stand-in-protest in front of the KSCCW office at Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram, demanding their baby back. Ajith was married to another woman at the time of the child’s birth in October 2020 but got divorced in January 2021.
“The General Secretary, KSCCW is directed to produce the child before the CWC here within five days on receipt of this order,” the order said.
“The DNA test of the baby should be conducted without any delay and till its results come, the child shall be under the care and protection of the District Child Protection officer,” the order added.
Expressing happiness over the development, Anupama said that she would continue her protest till she gets the baby in her hand.
“Feeling very happy and relieved now. I hope I can see my baby soon. I believe that there won’t be much formalities after the DNA test, and I would get my child by December beginning,” an excited Anupama said.
“The legal battle against the KSCCW authorities and everyone behind forcibly separating the child from me will also be taken forward,” she added.
The incident triggered huge political controversy in the state, especially as Anupama’s father is a senior leader in the ruling CPI(M) and is accused of having influenced officials in various departments.
The Opposition Congress-UDF even took the issue to the state Assembly, and termed it as one of the most heinous “honour crimes” reported in the state.
The government has announced a departmental probe into the incident.
Peroorkkada police registered a case against six people, including her parents, sister and husband, and father’s two friends, and said that the delay happened as they were awaiting legal opinion.
A family court had stayed the adoption process of the child last month, and had directed the police to submit a detailed report in a sealed cover.
(With inputs from Agencies)