Cases of newborn children being abandoned, dead or alive, are pending in different stages across police stations and courts in Telangana. Till date, not a single accused has been convicted because, in most cases, there are not many clues available. The main reason for delay in these cases is there are no complainants to hold the police accountable.
For instance, in the case of a baby missing or kidnap, parents or complainants hold police accountable and demand a thorough investigation. In this case, however, most abandoned children are found dead, and the case is not dealt with the seriousness it deserves.
Sources in police say that for a department that has solved many sensational cases using the latest technology, solving these cases isn’t a big deal.
“It also doesn’t require much time. It’s the duty of the investigating officer to conclude the case within a stipulated time, considering these are suo-motu cases,” says a senior police official. Unfortunately, there is no one to question the police on behalf of dead children, and so the cases do not see much progress.
Police also agree that people who abandon children know how to get away.
“Most of them are now aware of CCTV camera presence and they usually dump the kids in dark and isolated areas that are not covered by cameras,” the senior cop adds. It has also been observed that when kids are kidnapped alive or go missing, police put in extra effort, sometimes even out of the way, to try and save them.
These cases aren’t of any less importance, and activists hope that one day, they will be treated as such.
Swati Lakra, the IG for women’s safety made the message clear: “Distressed women or families can deposit babies at Bharosa Centres. Here the staff would ensure the child is safe.” There is always a way out, Swati Lakra says. “The child’s safety should be the priority for anyone. Instead of abandoning the child on the roadside or in a garbage dump, they should go to Bharosa Centre.”
Police say that children born to unmarried parents are abandoned the most. Some people also abandon the female child.
In many such cases, police say, mothers are coerced to either give up the child or take the baby and leave the house. Experts say there is a need for more investigation into circumstances that force mothers to abandon children.
Though the police do not have a shelter facility, Bharosa can be the one-stop centre for all problems. They provide protection to women and children. They could also help pregnant mothers who are facing threats of eviction or abandonment. “Pregnant women who are forced to abandon or abort their unborn child can also seek shelter,” says Lakra. Bharosa, as a centre, does not do this. However, by involving various stakeholders, it will find a way. #KhabarLive