A mutilated body of a 3-day-old baby boy was recovered from a vacant plot at Puthur in Kollam district on Saturday. The baby's hands and legs were found to have been bitten off, raising suspicion that he could have been mauled to death by stray dogs.
However, as the Puthur police began investigation in the case, what surfaced was a horrifying tale of murder and a failed attempt at covering it up. The newborn was choked to death and buried in the backyard of their house by the baby's parents.
On Monday, the police arrested 24-year-old Ambili and her 26-year-old husband Mahesh for allegedly killing their newborn baby and dumping the body. The police have booked the couple under IPC sections including 302 (murder), 350 (Whoever intentionally uses force to any person, without that person's consent, in order to the committing of any offence), 318 (Concealment of birth by secret disposal of dead body) and 34 (When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone).
According to the police, the couple, who already has a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, was shocked to find out that Ambili was pregnant for a second time. While the couple approached multiple hospitals in Kollam seeking to medically terminate the pregnancy, they were not permitted to do so, since the legally permissible time limit of 20 weeks had already passed.
However, as the legal option to terminate the pregnancy was not available for the couple, they reportedly hid the news of Ambili's pregnancy from their neighbours.
"Most of their family members knew that she was pregnant, but they had successfully concealed it from neighbours and health workers. We believe Ambili had resorted to unscientific ways of aborting the child, but we are yet to get clarity on many aspects of the case," Puthoor Sub-Inspector said.
On April 17, Ambili gave birth to the baby inside her house, while she was alone. Following this, she allegedly choked the baby to death and buried the body in the backyard. Three days later, the mutilated body of the baby was recovered from a compound less than 30 meters from Ambili's house.
"Stray dogs might have dug up the body and left it at the adjacent plot," the police said.
While the police say that Mahesh too helped conceal his wife's pregnancy, he wasn't involved in murdering the child. The police is also looking into the involvement of Ambili's mother in the crime, who lives a kilometre away from the couple's house.