She was afraid husband would abandon her following repeated miscarriages; feigned pregnancy and lied about abducted child
A desperate attempt to save her marriage has landed a 22-year-old woman in jail. Her crime: kidnapping.
Yogeshwari (22), a resident of Parameshwaran Nagar in Tondiarpet, had suffered a string of miscarriages. Afraid her husband would leave her, as threatened, she resorted to the crime. On October 25, she kidnapped a four-day-old girl belonging to Kalaiarasi (21), wife of Ravi, an autorickshaw driver, from RSRM hospital in Royapuram.
After undergoing a caesarean on October 21, Kalaiarasi was resting in the post-delivery ward on the first floor of the hospital when the incident took place. Her mother-in-law had gone to the bathroom at the time.
According to the police, Yogeshwari walked into the ward and spotting Kalaiarasi’s baby, came near her. She lifted the baby in her arms and after a while, asked Kalaiarasi if she could show the child to her husband waiting outside the ward.
Kalaiarasi agreed but when Yogeshwari did not return with the baby after a while, Kalaiarasi alerted her mother-in-law and the hospital authorities. Failing to locate the baby or the woman who took her, hospital staff informed the Royapuram police.
CCTV footage from the hospital revealed a stranger walking with an infant and after confirming her identity with Kalaiarasi, the police began searching for the kidnapper. “We formed six special teams that were sent across the city to nab the accused,” said deputy commissioner of Washermenpet, S. Maheswaran.
Meanwhile, Yogeshwari’s neighbours were surprised to find her with a baby as they were not aware that she had been pregnant. They became suspicious when they noticed that Yogeshwari was not breastfeeding the newborn.
On seeing reports about the child missing from the hospital, the neighbours alerted Mahiba, a trainee sub-inspector attached to the Royapuram police station. Posing as Corporation officials, Mahiba and another constable visited Yogeshwari’s house under the pretext of conducting a census.
When they asked for the infant’s birth’s certificate or the receipt provided by the 108 ambulance that had brought her from the hospital, she failed to produce them. She was then taken to the police station for interrogation. The police also checked her house and found the sari that she was seen wearing in the CCTV footage.
Yogeshwari later confessed to the crime. “Hers was a love marriage. Her husband Jagannathan is a welder. She had miscarriages on two earlier occasions. In June, when Yogeshwari got pregnant again, her husband threatened to abandon her if she did not give birth this time around,” Mr. Maheshwaran said. A few months later, she miscarried for the third time.
Fearing her husband’s wrath, Yogeshwari hid the matter and pretended to be pregnant. “On October 25, she went to RSRM hospital looking for a baby. After kidnapping Kalaiarasi’s child, she telephoned her husband and told him she had delivered on the way to the hospital. She then took the baby home,” he said.
After interrogation, Yogeshwari was taken to the hospital where she was identified by Kalaiarasi and her mother-in-law Karpagam. “We also checked the CCTV footage again and confirmed she was the kidnapper,” Mr. Maheshwaran said.
The baby has been sent to a children’s home in T. Nagar. She will be returned to Kalaiarasi after DNA tests are conducted.