Six months after a 35-year-old woman cradling a toddler was found wandering on a south Delhi street, fate — and a seemingly dedicated police team — has reunited her with anxious family members hundreds of kilometres away.
When a policeman asked Radha about her identity after running into her on Bandh Road in Fatehpur Beri on March 15, all he got in reply were a few words in Telugu and a blank stare, said Chhaya Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (south).
"There was something innocuous about her, not to mention the year-old girl in her arms," said an officer.
"We escorted her to the police station and tried to help her settle down. We questioned her again, but she still wasn't in a position to say anything understandable about her native place or address."
The police took her for a medical examination. Here, they were told that Radha was healthy, but mentally disturbed.
She was subsequently produced in a special court and sent to the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IBHAS) in east Delhi’s Dilshad Garden for as many as six months. A police team was sent to Andhra Pradesh on the basis of a discussion with a government-appointed translator.
“Her accent suggested she had some conneciton with the Khammam district where we conducted a door-to-door search with nothing but her picture. We also got her description published in local dailies — but nothing happened,” admitted the officer.
A few days later, local sources helped the police team track down Radha’s in-laws to a farmer’s house in a village called Murchall. The in-laws were still moaning the death of their son.
“Radha’s husband had died a few days before she lost her emotional and mental bearings. Depressed and helpless, Radha apparently just got on a Delhi-bound train to escape the pain,” DCP Sharma said.