The Nilgiris police are on the lookout for the persons who allegedly abandoned a newborn baby in Kotagiri. The babyâ€™s body was recovered on Tuesday.
In the wee hours of Tuesday, the Kotagiri police station received a phone call from a few tea estate workers who had found the legs of a human child was popping out of the ground in Gundupettu colony in Kitti Combai, Kotagiri. Rushing to the spot immediately, a team of policemen from Kotagiri station, a doctor and Revenue Inspector Poovendran, dug the spot to find a newborn infant boy buried in the ground. The body was recovered and sent to the government hospital in Kotagiri for autopsy.
Speaking to TNM, a police officer from the station said that a case under section 174 (unnatural death) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been registered in the matter. He added that the police are investigating the case and have not yet detained or arrested anyone.
The police also said that they suspect that the baby might have been born out of wedlock since it is rare that a couple abandons a baby boy. â€śEven if it was a stillborn baby, there would be some record somewhere. We are probing all the details, different angles,â€ť he added.
It was only weeks ago that the district administration of Nilgiris set up a cradle in the Ooty Botanical Gardens for parents who are unable to keep their children. Initiated under the state governmentâ€™s Cradle Baby scheme, it was prompted after the incidents of people abandoning their babies in the forest areas around the district increased, reported The Hindu.
According to a report in the Times of India, Tamil Nadu has the highest number of abandoned children between the ages of 7 and 18 in the country. The report prepared by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development after mapping the country for Child Care Institutions in all the states in 2016 said that Tamil Nadu has around 87,000 children in 1,647 homes of which almost 6,000 children are orphans and 217 were surrendered by their families. Of the 1,550 children who were abandoned by their families and ended up in these homes, 743 were girls.