IndiaAnupama's struggle for the baby: Chronicles

Anupama’s struggle for the baby: Chronicles

By Bhadra Chandran

The incident took place in Thiruvananthapuram when the mother unknowingly adopted a three-day-old baby. Anupama S Chandran is continuing her fast outside the Child Welfare Committee demanding the release of her unborn child.

Anupama says there is no other way but to take to the streets to get the baby back. Anupama’s father, who is also a CPM office bearer, and the role of the agencies that helped her adopt him, blamed the CPM itself for the incident.

Anupama says that although the party and the government are with her, no one is helping her and that the officials of the Child Welfare Committee are trying to further complicate the issue.

ശിശുക്ഷേമസമിതിക്ക് മുന്നില്‍ സമരപ്പന്തല്‍ തീര്‍ത്ത് പ്രതിഷേധിക്കാനുള്ള ശ്രമം പോലീസ് തടഞ്ഞതിനെ തുടര്‍ന്ന് മഴയത്തും അവര്‍ സമരം തുടരുന്നു.

How to examine the history of this controversy

In 2020, SFI leader Anupama and DYFI regional president Ajith lodged a complaint with the Peroorkada police, the chief minister and CPM leaders alleging that the family had moved the baby without her consent. But for a year, the police station was raided but no case was registered. The case was registered on October 18.

Police have registered a case against six persons, including Anupama’s father, CPM local committee member PS Jayachandran and branch committee member’s mother Smita James. Anupama was not married when she was pregnant. Besides, the boy’s father Ajith had another family and the casteism of Anupama’s family became a problem.

Ajith divorced his first wife and married Anupama after she had a child. Anupama had said in the complaint that this was the reason for changing the baby.

The baby will be abducted by the parents on October 22, 2020, Anupama told the media.

“They said they would keep the child until the elder sister’s marriage, and the family demanded that the land be sold and signed off to raise money for the sister’s marriage. It was learned that the child was handed over to the Child Welfare Committee by the Adoption Committee on August 7. The transfer was made on a temporary basis but the process for permanent rights is progressing in the court. Says Anupama.

Women’s Commission seeks report from DGP

On October 21, Anupama and Ajith came to the scene with a serious allegation that the Child Welfare Committee and the CWC had helped the parents to smuggle the baby. She blamed Shijukhan, general secretary of the Child Welfare Committee and DYFI leader, for the incident. Anupama said that the child welfare committee headed by Shijukhan had adopted the baby without following the rules and that Shijukhan was speaking against each other. Anupama said she had lodged a complaint with the Child Welfare Committee last April alleging that the baby had been abducted but no action had been taken. But Shijukhan did not respond to a request for comment.

It was at this time that Anupama’s attempt to take the case to court began. The baby’s mother decided to approach the court seeking oversight of the investigation, saying it could sabotage the Peroorkada police – led investigation.

The case was registered by the Women’s Commission on October 21 following Anupama’s complaint. P Sathi Devi, chairperson of the women’s commission, demanded that the DGP report the incident immediately.

October 22

On October 22, the baby’s mother made serious allegations against the CPM. The woman said that she had approached the top brass of the party, including the chief minister, with a complaint but no action was taken. Anupama also accused CPM district secretary Anavur Nagappan of being rude despite saying that justice would be done.

Minister for Women and Child Welfare Veena George said that the department head had started an inquiry into the incident on the same day. The minister said steps would be taken to release the baby to the mother. Following this, the Secretary of the Department of Women and Child Welfare was instructed to look into all matters from the time the child was brought to the Child Welfare Committee.

Meanwhile, the Child Welfare Committee gave a confusing answer to the questions of the police. The committee’s reply to the police was that they had given birth to two boys between October 19 and 25, 2020. The panel noted that other details could not be provided and that it was illegal to do so. Contact the Central Adoption Resource Authority for more information about the child.

October 23: Hunger strike

Anupama Secretariat Padikkal went on a hunger strike demanding justice. During the strike, the woman said that the party and the police had given up.

Meanwhile, Ajith’s first wife Nazia came on the scene against Anupama. Nazia alleged that the baby was handed over to the Child Welfare Committee with the knowledge of Anupama. He had come to Anupama’s house to say that he would not grant a divorce. Nazia told the media that Anupama had given the consent form to hand over the child to the family and that he had read it himself.

However, Anupama said that Nazia’s allegations were baseless and that they were accusing her of backing her father. Anupama said that if Ajith had not been granted a divorce, his father would have offered Nazia a job.

October 24: Shijukhan responds

In a statement to the director of women’s child development, Shijukhan said the baby was adopted legally. He said he would not speak out because of legal issues. Shijukhan was summoned as part of an inquiry ordered by Minister Veena George.

At the same time, Anupama and Ajith pointed out that the claim that Ajith had children in his first marriage was wrong.

October 25: Stay on Dutt action

Thiruvananthapuram: A family court in Thiruvananthapuram has stayed the legal adoption of a couple from Andhra Pradesh. The government and the Child Welfare Committee had filed a petition in the court seeking a stay of the adoption proceedings. The court’s action is based on this.

The public prosecutor told the court that there was a dispute over whether the child had been abandoned or deliberately abandoned by the parents and that the government had announced an investigation into the matter. The court then observed that clarity was needed in these matters. The court was told orally that DNA testing would be required.

Meanwhile, Anupama and Ajith said they were happy with the court verdict and saddened by the adoption of their parents. He also reiterated that action should be taken against those who violated the law.

October 26: Dutt controversy in church

As the adoption controversy became a topic of discussion in the Assembly, the ruling party and the Opposition became embroiled in controversy. RMP leader KK Rema issued the urgent motion notice. The Rema Sabha said that the government and the Child Welfare Committee had joined hands for the heinous crime of changing a baby who does not smell like milk.

However, Minister Veena George told the assembly that the adoption was legal and the government wanted the baby to be with his mother if he was ready to raise her. But the minister did not give a definite answer to the allegation that Anupama’s father left the baby in the crib.

Opposition groups called for the beleagured PM to resign. Meanwhile, Youth Congress activists staged an unexpected protest in front of the Assembly building, alleging that the government was protecting the culprits.

October 27

On October 27, Anupama and Ajith’s statement was recorded by Child Development Director TV Anupama. About five and a half hours were spent inquiring about the baby and the adoption controversy. Anupama, the mother of the child, said after giving her statement that she had presented evidence against the Child Welfare Committee and the CWC and hoped for an investigation.

November 1

Anupama filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court seeking directions to the Thiruvananthapuram police commissioner to produce the adopted child.

At the same time, the family court reiterated that a DNA test could be performed if necessary. The court commended the government for its timely intervention in the case. However, the court strongly criticized the action of the Child Welfare Committee in not renewing the adoption license.

November 2

The High Court rejected the habeas corpus petition filed by Anupama stating that the child could not be said to be in illegal custody under the present circumstances. Moreover, the court said that the family court was taking action in the matter and there was no need for the high court to intervene now.

Meanwhile, five people, including Anupama’s mother and sister, who were convicted in the case, were granted conditional bail.

November 15

Anupama’s father PS Jayachandran, who is on the list of accused, filed an anticipatory bail application in the Thiruvananthapuram Additional Sessions Court and the court granted bail. The anticipatory bail application will be considered on November 18. Anupama’s father PS Jayachandran is the first accused in the case.

November 18

The Child Welfare Committee has directed the Child Welfare Committee to bring the baby to Kerala, which was handed over to a couple in Andhra Pradesh. The Child Welfare Committee has been given five days. It has also been ordered to conduct DNA tests on the baby being brought to Kerala. The baby will be in the care of the government until the result. Anupama told the media that she was happy with the order of the Child Welfare Committee and that the strike would continue till action is taken against the culprits.