A minor rape survivor tried to abandon her new-born baby in Jaipur after pleading with people for hours at the railway station to adopt the girl, police said on Saturday.
Officials said the mother and baby were “rescued” by the Rajasthan child rights panel on Friday night after a journalist tipped off the police.
The 14-year-old girl had delivered the baby on January 29 at a government hospital in Jaipur and both were discharged on Friday.
After the girl’s father lodged a complaint, police arrested a 23-year-old man, identified as Ajay Singh, on Friday for allegedly raping the girl.
Family members of the rape survivor refused to speak to the media.
Manan Chaturvedi, chairperson of the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said the girl and her parents are unwilling to keep the baby fearing social ostracisation.
“When the mother and baby were discharged (from hospital), the mother and her family were reluctant to take the child home,” said Bhagwan Sahay, Nahargarh police station house officer.
Chaturvedi told HT that she brought the girl and the baby to her home with police permission as the mother’s physical and mental condition was not good.
“Now the condition of mother is better after medical aid,” she added.
She said the brother of the survivor, who drives an e-rickshaw, took his sister, his mother and the newborn from the hospital to the railway station, where they pleaded with passers-by to take the baby.
A reporter of a media house informed the police commissioner and Chaturvedi about this, she added.
“I have spoken to the child welfare committee to take the baby so that the newborn can be given for adoption after legal formalities.”
Chaturvedi said though there is a facility at the hospital where families can anonymously leave newborn babies they don’t want, the rape survivor victim’s family did not know about this.
Under a health department scheme, 65 state-run hospitals across the state have cradles where unwanted babies are left.
In 2015, Rajasthan recorded more than 3,500 cases of rape, the third highest in the country. The state also reported the fourth highest number of crime against women in the country in 2015, according to latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show.
Activists attribute the high incidents of crime against women to a highly patriarchal society and rampant misogyny.