Mumbai: Almost two months after the body of a newborn was found in an autorickshaw near Qureshi Nagar, Bandra (W), police tracked down its teen mother and took her into custody on Friday. She was later sent to the remand home. During their investigation, they learnt that the 17-year-old girl had strangled her daughter after her boyfriend doubted the paternity of the baby. The teen has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for murder and causing disappearance of evidence.
On October 31, an autorickshaw driver, Mohammad Nadim, 27, found the body of a two month-old baby girl, wrapped in blue polythene and stuffed in a cloth bag, in his parked vehicle in Bandra. He immediately informed police. The infant was found with a knotted handkerchief around her neck.
Police immediately registered a case of murder against unidentified persons and initiated an investigation. The infant's body was sent for post mortem at the civic-run Bhabha Hospital, where the primary cause of death was revealed as strangulation with a cloth. Police then checked the registers of civic-run hospitals and nursing clinics, scanning through 3,000 names of new mothers to get leads. They followed this up by visiting these new mothers to check if they had their babies with them but found no match. Subsequently, they activated their network of informers to help trace the mother.
"As a desperate attempt, we checked on all the women across the city in chawls and slums who had recently given birth to girls, but all babies were accounted for. We then checked places of worship where beggars were seen with infants in tow. Earlier this week, we received a tip-off that a woman, a homeless beggar, who used to visit a shrine in Tardeo with an infant, was not seen lately," said Vijayalakshmi Hiremath, senior inspector of Bandra police station.
Police laid a trap near the shrine on Friday and nabbed a woman who often accompanied the infant and her mother. During interrogation, this woman revealed, her acquaintance was no longer visiting Tardeo, but could be found near Bandra Reclamation. Teams were immediately sent out to trace the mother. She was found to be a 17-year-old and confessed to having killed her daughter. "The newborn was two months and 10 days old and was born at Bhabha Hospital, but police had only checked records dated two months before the infant was found. Moreover, the accused had mentioned her age as 21 at the time of her delivery and did not come to collect the birth certificate either," added Hiremath.
The teen revealed during questioning, her boyfriend, also a minor, had expressed doubts about the child's paternity and she was deeply upset by this. So she strangled her daughter with a cloth bag, near the 'I Love Mumbai' point and dumped the body in an autorickshaw.
The teen was sent to correctional home and booked under relevant sections of the IPC for murder (section 302) and causing disappearance of evidence (section 201).