In an incident reminiscent of the Dharmapuri Ilavarasan-Divya episode, a woman on Friday refused to take possession of an infant born to her and her Dalit husband.
The 20-year-old woman, who belongs to the Vanniyar community, also decided not to stay with her husband any longer.
Her decision followed a day-long drama after Ranjith Kumar of Koundarpalayam near Malayalapatti in Veppanthattai taluk of Perambalur district filed a complaint with the Arumbavur police on Wednesday that his baby boy, born on September 25, was missing.
The Perambalur Child Welfare Committee (CWC) handed over the infant over to Ranjith Kumar after retrieving it from a Chennai couple who had taken it home from Cuddalore, where the delivery took place.
Enquiry by the police and CWC members revealed that the child was handed over to the Chennai couple by Shanthi at the Cuddalore bus stand before boarding a bus for Perambalur with her mother on September 29.
The couple, who had been studying together from standard VI in Arumbavur, got married in a temple in Kosappadi village of Villupuram district on October 25, 2012 after Shanthi left home without her mother’s knowledge to join Ranjith Kumar, a college dropout. After spending a few months at Pariyam village near Chinnasalem, they returned to Koundarpalayam where Ranjith Kumar started to work in a sago factory.
About a month ago, on the pretext of performing ‘valaikappu,’ her mother took Shanthi to nearby MV Puram, from where they left for Thideerkuppam near Neyveli. On knowing about the delivery of a boy at the government headquarters hospital in Cuddalore, Ranjith Kumar visited the hospital on September 28. During his second visit the next day, he was informed that the patient was “absconding.”
R. Kandasamy, Ranjith Kumar’s uncle, said that when he visited MV Puram to know about the well-being of the baby, a relative of Shanthi confronted him with the query, “Do you expect us to bring up the child of a Dalit? It would be a shame on us.” He was informed that the child had died in Cuddalore and was cremated subsequently. Mr. Kandasamy alleged that Shanthi’s relatives had sold the baby to a couple in Chennai through a person on security duty at the Cuddalore hospital.
On suspicion, a complaint was lodged with the Arumbavur police. The chairman of Perambalur CWC, G. Mohamed Hussain, who conducted a day-long reconciliation talks with the relatives of both sides, said the girl refused to take the child home.
A relative of Shanthi said over phone that she had expressed her inability to bring up the child or live with Ranjith Kumar on “health grounds.” Mr. Hussain said the CWC would submit a report to the Arumbavur police, who would initiate further action.
However, the Arumbavur police did not file an FIR on the complaint till Friday evening. The child has been taken to Pariyam village by relatives of Ranjith Kumar.