Monkey mom 'files' FIR

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 16.11.09

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 16: The cry for help aroused even the most hardbitten policeman’s sympathy. A mother was appealing to them to save her newborn baby from being killed by her jealous husband.

Jhumuri had already gone into hiding with son Kuna, so she was sending a written complaint, complete with her thumb impression, through a group of Samaritans to Astarang police station, Puri district.

The police immediately registered a case under three sections of the penal code: 363 (kidnapping), 366 (abducting for slavery) and 307 (attempt to murder).

Except that it turned out that the complainant was a female monkey.

The police, who realised this when they went to the neighbourhood to investigate, said they would not take action against the people who came with the complaint yesterday afternoon. “We have dropped the case,” a policeman said.

Indian police are often accused of refusing to register cases on complaints from poor, illiterate people, but this time the boot seemed to be on the other foot.

The complaint said Jhumuri’s “husband”, Raja, had already killed her first child and, after Kuna was born, had attacked it several times. Jhumuri had then fled home with her baby, prompting Raja and his gang of males to start camping in Astarang market, looking for her.

Jhumuri, the complaint said, had then fled to residential areas near the market and was hiding there. “She has been staying with us for the past few days,” Lingaraj Chotai, who has given shelter to Jhumuri, told the police.

The police confirmed that about a dozen male monkeys had been camping in Astarang market and said that local forest officials knew about it.

“We may have to do something if the monkeys make a commotion,” a policeman said. He said it was not uncommon for adult male monkeys to get jealous of baby monkeys, even their own children, and to try to kill them.