A two-month-old son of an Indian couple that works with Tata Consultancy Services has been placed in foster care by US child welfare officials after he was admitted to a local hospital with head injuries in New Jersey.
The son of Ashish Pareek, an employee of Tata Consultancy Services and resident of Jersey City, had apparently slipped from his mother’s hand and hit his head on a TV stand before falling hard on the floor, according to his family.
The baby was immediately rushed to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with serious internal injuries to his head.
After initial treatment, the hospital transferred the baby, Ashvid, to another hospital where doctors reported the case to Department of Child Projection and Permanency (DCPP).
Local authorities had said that the child suffered from ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ and had not agreed with the parents’ version that the little boy had hurt himself when he fell off the bed while playing.
The New Jersey DCPP had said that the parents neglected to take proper care of their child.
The child had received treatment at the Children’s Specialised Hospital in New Jersey but the parents were not given permission to meet their son while in hospital. After the recovery, the baby was handed over by child welfare officials to foster care last week.
The parents have said that it was an accident and deny claims by US authorities that they had tried to harm the child, according to Pareek’s family. Pareek’s wife Vidisha delivered the baby in October. They have been living in the US since August. The Indian Consulate is in contact with authorities as well as the child’s parents but said legal procedures will have to be followed in the case since it has gone to court.
“The Consulate of India in New York is in touch with all concerned authorities including the parents and also the local authorities in this (case). However since the case has to be taken up in the court, the procedure has to take place which should not take long,” the Press Wing of the Consulate said when asked to comment on the case.
It expressed hope that the case will be resolved in a few days and said the Consulate is providing all logistic help. In 2012, another Indian couple in New Jersey had been denied custody of their one-year old son after he had sustained serious head injuries at his home and had to undergo surgery.
Meanwhile, Ashish Pareek’s brother Aman Pareek on Facebook requested the PMO and Foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to intervene in the matter.
“My elder brother Ashish Pareek is in big trouble in Jersey City (USA) and need immediate attention from all of us. His two months old son’s custody has been taken from them and given to foster parents for allegation on them of Shaking Baby Syndrome (SBS) which he has never done.
We need to spread the news so that it reaches to Indian Government. PMO India Sushma Swaraj General V.K. Singh,” he posted on Facebook on Wednesday.