Kerala couple abandon baby for fear of social stigma

Kerala couple abandon baby for fear of social stigma

The Kerala man told the investigation team that the offence was committed out of fear that they would be shamed socially for siring a fourth child. (Representative image)

A 32-year-old man, who abandoned his newborn baby at a Kochi church, purportedly committed the offence out of fear that he would be shamed socially for siring a fourth child, police said on Saturday.

Bitto and his wife Prabitha (28), from Thrissur district, were arrested on Saturday for abandoning their newborn child at St George Forane Church in Edappally on Friday evening.

The two, having four kids including the abandoned two-day-old infant, were traced from Wadakkancherry, they added.

The woman reportedly joined her husband in committing the crime before being discharged from the Government Medical College Hospital in Thrissur, where she delivered the baby.

During the preliminary probe, Bitto told the investigation team that he and his wife were laughed at by friends and locals for Prabitha being continuously pregnant.

Police, however, said a detailed investigation is required to reach a final conclusion in the case.

The two have been charged under IPC Section 317(exposure and abandonment of child under 12 years, by parent or person having care of it) and Juvenile Justice Act, Section 75 (punishment for cruelty to child), police said.

CCTV camera footage aired by television channels and circulated on social media since Friday showed a couple leaving the child in the church premises.

The security staff of the church noticed the child at around 8.30 pm and immediately alerted the police.

In the footage, the couple along with another child was seen walking into the church around 8.15 pm with the baby wrapped in an orange sheet.

The father kissed the baby on its forehead before carefully placing the infant on the church ground.

The baby was admitted to a private hospital immediately after the incident.

Hospital sources said the infant was healthy.