Updated: October 22, 2021 8:16:09 am
ON OCTOBER 19, her son turned 1. That’s about the only thing a 23-year-old leader of the SFI, the students’ wing of the CPM, knows as she does the rounds of police stations, the Kerala state women’s commission and child welfare committee in search of her baby who, she has accused, was given up by her parents forcibly as they disapproved of her relationship with the father.
Anupama S Chandran filed the complaint with police in April. When no action was taken, she complained to the state police chief as well as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Finally, on Tuesday, “backed by legal opinion”, Thiruvanathapuram police registered an FIR against Anupama’s parents — P S Jayachandran and Smitha James — both local CPM leaders. The father of the child is Ajith Kumar, a member of the CPI student wing DYFI.
Also named in the FIR are Anupama’s sister and brother-in-law. On Thursday, the state women’s commission, headed by CPM leader P Sathidevi, also registered a case based on Anupama’s complaint.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Anupama said, “As the biological mother, I have every right to know the details about my child. I want my child back and I am ready for a legal fight.”
However, police sources said, this was difficult the child had been adopted from the shelter where he was left, and the regulations do not permit disclosure of his identity or whereabouts.
Anupama said she and the then married Ajith Kumar, a Dalit Christian, had fallen in love five years back. When she got pregnant, she said, Ajith got divorced. “When I was eight-month pregnant, in September last year, we started living together.”
She said her parents opposed the relationship, threatening to commit suicide if she did not end it. Later, Anupama said, they promised to get the two of them married and to “protect my child”. But when she returned home, she was locked up and not allowed any contact with Ajith, she said. She resisted multiple attempts to get the child aborted, Anupama claimed.
On October 19 last year, she delivered the child. According to Anupama, three days later, when she and the baby were going home, the parents took him away forcibly. “Whenever I asked about my son, my parents tortured me. Even after my sister’s wedding I was kept locked up.”
However, Anupama said, she was taken to her mother’s maternal home in Thodupuzha in Idukki instead and “counselled”. “Whenever I asked about my son, my parents tortured me. Even after my sister’s wedding I was kept locked up.”
Early this year, Anupama managed to leave her parents’ home and started living with Ajith. With no information on their son, on April 15, Anupama complained to the local police against Jayachandran.
Police sources said the infant was left at a “cradle” run by the state child welfare committee for abandoned children. Anupama accused Jayachandran of fabricating a document with her signature saying she could not look after the child, and getting it attested by a notary who is a CPM member. Sources said the document also says Anupama would not approach the child welfare committee for her son.
The child was reportedly at the shelter for two months before being put up for adoption.
Anupama and Ajith said they had found out that the same day as their son was “taken”, a child was left at the cradle. However, a DNA test has ruled out that this infant was their son.
Denying claims that they dragged their feet on the matter as it involved CPM leaders, a police officer said, “The woman’s father produced a document saying they were leaving the child with the child welfare committee as legally there was no father and they did not want to rear him. Anupama now says she was forced to sign the document. The child welfare committee said they kept the baby for two months, in case the mother turned up.”
After the FIR was registered Tuesday, police again approached the child welfare committee. Sources said they are hoping to get information considering a case has been filed.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.