Kerala women commission takes note, orders inquiry in missing child case

Published on Oct 22, 2021 01:09 AM IST

The incident triggered enough outrage after the mother Anupama S Chandran (23), said she even approached senior leaders of the Politburo, including Brinda Karat and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to get her child back, but she failed to get justice. Anupama said her parents opposed their relationship as her husband belonged to Dalit Christian sect.

Both Anupama Chandran and her husband K Ajith are active workers of the Student Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), CPI (M) feeder organisations. (HT Photo)
Both Anupama Chandran and her husband K Ajith are active workers of the Student Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), CPI (M) feeder organisations. (HT Photo)
By, Thiruvananthapuram

The Kerala state women’s commission on Thursday ordered an inquiry into the missing child case of Anupama Chandran, daughter of CPI(M) leader Jayachandran, six months after she filed a complaint against her parents for allegedly snatching away her new-born child.

Women commission chairperson P Sathi Devi, also a former member of parliament, directed the state director general of police to inquire into the incident and locate the baby at the earliest. The commission has also decided to call a sitting next week and asked all involved to appear before it.

Police were forced to register a case against her parents and four others on Tuesday after Anupama appeared on a news channel narrating her bitter tale. She said she knocked on many doors for six months and turned to the media finally on missing child’s first birthday, October 19.

The red-faced CPI(M) leaders are yet to react on the matter, and most of them avoided a reply saying the state party secretary will explain it later. However, party insiders said many women leaders are upset with the way the sensitive issue was handled, as it gave enough opportunities to corner the party. A prominent section of the CPI (M) dubbed it only as “a family issue”, but admitted it dented the party’s image.

“Finally, the women commission opened its eyes. If this is happening to a member of the party, what about others? Her parents should be arrested immediately, and police should locate her baby,” said Congress leader Bindhu Krishna criticising the silence of the left intellectuals and women activists. “The party is exposed terribly, and it is reduced to a criminal gang. Shockingly, even Politburo members failed to get her justice,” said BJP general secretary Geroge Kurian seeking action against all who tried to cover up the mother’s plight.

The incident triggered enough outrage after the mother Anupama S Chandran (23), said she even approached senior leaders of the Politburo, including Brinda Karat and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to get her child back, but she failed to get justice. Anupama said her parents opposed their relationship as her husband belonged to Dalit Christian sect.

Though her father, P S Jayachandran, party branch committee member and CITU leader, claimed that the child was with a government-run child welfare committee home, the couple failed to trace the child. Police booked the father, mother and four others under sections including 361 of the Indian Penal Code (kidnapping baby from lawful guardianship). Though most of the sections are non-bailable, the police are yet to make an arrest.

Jayachandran’s father, late Peroorkada Sadasivan, was the CITU state general secretary and longest-serving member of the Kerala party committee.

Though Jayachandran claimed that the baby was with the government-run child welfare committee home (an orphanage), the couple failed to trace the baby. Police have booked the father, mother and four others under sections including 361 of the Indian Penal Code (kidnapping baby from lawful guardianship). Though some of the sections are non-bailable, no arrest was carried out, the police said.

On April 19, Anupama registered a complaint with the police and sent a copy of it to the chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state police chief alleging that her relatives forcibly took away her baby and they feign ignorance now. She said the police failed to take any action due to political pressure, and she was forced to speak on a news channel after her all attempts failed. According to her complaint, the baby was found missing three days after delivery on Oct 19, 2020.

Jayachandran claimed that since the child was born, the couple decided to shift her to a care home with the full consent of Anupama. He said she signed on stamp paper, but Anupama said she signed under duress, and she had several problems post-delivery because it was a C-section. Both Anupama and her husband Ajith are active workers of the Student Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), CPI (M) feeder organisations.

Jayachandran said they opposed their relationship because Ajith had already married and had a child. But Ajith said he got married to Anupama only after his divorce from his first wife, and now his in-laws were opposing their relationship since he belonged to a Dalit family. But Jayachandran insisted that if they want their child back, they can proceed legally.

“I was shooed away from many offices. Some of them later pleaded helplessness, fearing the wrath of the party. Is this the way to treat a distraught mother? How can they deny a mother’s legitimate rights citing silly issues,” she said, adding she was tortured while pregnant and taken to several places to abort but failed after they denied her consent.

“My father sometimes says the child is in Tamil Nadu or north Kerala. The DNA test of two children admitted at the same period in the children’s home was also done but both failed to match us. I am ready to fight it out for my baby,” she said.

“I am facing the worst kind of ex-communication. When I sought some jobs party leaders intervened and foiled my chances. I was also thrown out of the party. This is not Communism that I was taught,” said her husband.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

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