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Mom sells infant against loan

Baby in custody of issueless Pune couple

By Kumud Jenamani in Jamshedpur
  • Published 19.05.19, 12:09 AM
  • Updated 19.05.19, 12:09 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Birth mother Seema Mahali aka Seema Rao, who lives in Rambadhaiya area in Adityapur, said she had no choice but to hand over her newborn son to a well-off family in the area when she failed to return a loan of Rs 5,000 that she had taken from them. (Shutterstock)

An Adityapur woman, who was forced by poverty to virtually sell her infant boy to an issueless couple in April, approached police late on Friday night pleading she wanted her son back, the case raising highlighting how unauthorised adoptions work.

Adityapur police have contacted the couple, now in Pune, and ordered them to return the infant to its biological mother in a couple of days.

Birth mother Seema Mahali aka Seema Rao, who lives in Rambadhaiya area in Adityapur, said she had no choice but to hand over her newborn son to a well-off family in the area when she failed to return a loan of Rs 5,000 that she had taken from them.

Seema said she was the “second wife” of a driver, Gopi Rao, who stays with his first wife and two children separately at Jemco in Telco. “Last December, I was pregnant and my husband Gopi had injured his hand. There was dire need of money, so I had borrowed Rs 5,000 on interest from a lady, Poonam Srivastava, a member of the Srivastava family of Road No 13 in Rambadhaiya. But I could not pay back the loan,” Seema told this correspondent.

Seema then gave birth to a baby boy through Caesarean at MGM Medical College and Hospital on March 31. After she came back home, the Srivastavas started “hounding” her for the money, she said.

“On April 22, she (Poonam) called me at their house and issued an ultimatum. Either I pay them the money back or give them my son. I did not want to part with my son but I was helpless. They had made me sign on a blank piece of paper with a revenue stamp. They made my husband sign on a similar paper. But ever since I parted with my child I started feeling very sad and ultimately approached the police on Friday night to get my son back,” the 34-year-old woman said. “I am virtually alone and I need my son as my support.”

Adityapur OC Vijay Kumar Singh confirmed the verbal complaint lodged by Seema. “We have contacted the family which gave the child to their issueless relatives, a young couple based in Pune. The baby boy will be returned to his mother shortly,” he said. “We are probing how an infant was handed over to a family without proper formalities.”

He said issueless parents can definitely adopt babies but only through the proper legal channel (Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, or Guardians and Wards Act, 1890). “How can anyone take a baby on the basis of a piece of paper with a revenue stamp? We are looking into the matter and would take legal action against the person or persons concerned,” the OC said.

Murder arrests

Jamshedpur: Seven persons were arrested on Saturday for their alleged involvement in the murder of Mrigendra Nath Hembram, a BJP supporter, near his house in Kaliadih on May 11. Two pistols, four cellphones and three motorcycles were recovered from their possession. The murder took place following a dispute over a 14-acre plot at Parsudih.

Mishaps kill three

Dhanbad/Jamshedpur: Two persons, Santosh Yadav (34) and his brother-in-law Sonu Yadav (18), of Traction Colony in Dhanbad died on Friday after their bike came under the wheels of a bus near Shramik Chowk. In Jamshedpur, one Budheswar Das (31) of Ranchi was killed near Chilgu on NH-33 in Seraikela-Kharsawan district on Saturday when the dumper in which he was travelling overturned.