The heart-wrenching tale of 23-year-old distraught woman ended on a happy note with police reuniting her with her abandoned toddler. Fed up with her alcoholic husband's violent behaviour, the woman had decided to first desert her nine-month-old baby and then die by suicide. But she failed as every time she tried to attempt suicide she was apparently "prevented" from taking the extreme step.
The development happened four days ago and she was finally reunited with her son during one of the state's biggest festivals, Sankranti, in Hanagal - a sleepy town in Haveri, one of the most backward districts in the state. Hanagal is 370 kms from tech hub Bengaluru.
Hanagal circle police inspector Shivashankar Ganachari told IANS, it all began when Rekha Madiwalar, mother of nine-month-old baby quietly left her baby in one of the busiest roadside dhabas - Garam Masala - last week. "The people only realised after the baby started crying inconsolably either due to hunger or in search of its mother. First dhabawalas and customers ignored the cries of the baby thinking that it must be a stubborn baby. But, when cries got louder, one of the customers informed the police and we went there only to realise that the baby was abandoned," he explained.
The officer added that after preliminary investigations when the police could not verify who had abandoned the baby then the women and child welfare department officials in Hanagal were alerted, who reached the spot and took the baby into their custody.
While District Child Protection officer (Hangal), Mallikarjuna Mathad told IANS that the moment he saw the abandoned baby, he instantly realised it was not abandoned by any single mother as the child had all religious symbols like - Udadara (silver chain around waist, Hindu boys wear), anklet, bracelet and few lockets around baby's neck - indicated that child born out of legitimate marriage.
"Though none of the ornaments declared that the child was born into a rich family, it certainly indicated that whichever family it was, it cared for this baby very much," he explained.
He added that the baby was tired of crying and hungry too. "We immediately took steps to feed the baby. The baby co-operated on that occasion. Then when we started investigations along with police, we came to know that a woman who left the child boarded a bus towards Shivamogga, that clue alone helped us solve the case in two days," he said.
How police reunited mother, baby
The police immediately alerted Shivmogga and Uttara Kannada (Karwar) police. "The moment local cable channels aired this news on their channels, relatives of the child from both Karwar and Shivamogga came to Hangal, by then baby's mother had returned to Hangal, she was not aware that her baby's news had reached her parents as well as to her husband's relatives," Ganchari explained.
According to the relatives from both sides, they confessed that Rekha's husband Prakash was a chronic alcoholic and even to that moment, he was not aware that his son and wife had gone missing. "Karwar police had taken him into their custody, but he so sloshed, that he came to his senses only after staying day long in a police lockup," the officer said.
According to him, Rekha took bus to Shivamogga to reach her parents' house in Soraba, but she had got down midway thinking that she would die by suicide as she felt that someone would 'certainly take care of her son' better than her.
"But after some attempts, she could not muster courage to die by suicide as every time she wanted to end her life, she would invariably hear her son's cries. Thus she dropped her plans and she returned to the dhaba where she had left her son. The dhaba staff immediately informed us and by then she reached our station, where she said that she wanted take care of her son. As she was pleading, her relatives came, they produced required documents and she was reunited with her child on Sankranti, it was not planned but they were destined to reunite on Sankranti," he said.
(With inputs from IANS)