After a day-long investigation, Madurai city police on Wednesday rescued a one-year-old male child that was claimed to have been "buried" by officials of a non-government organisation, which faked his death due to COVID-19 a few days ago.
Police are also on the lookout for another child that was said to be missing from the same home run by the NGO.
Commissioner of Police Prem Anand Sinha said the boy, who was rescued late in the night, would be handed over to his mother, S. Aishwarya, who was in the home in Reserve Line since March.
After taking the child out of the home on the pretext of providing treatment to him on June 13, G.R. Sivakumar, who managed the home jointly run by Madurai City Police and Idhayam Trust, claimed that the boy was treated for COVID-19, but later died at Government Rajaji hospital.
He told the boy's mother that his body was buried at Thathaneri burial ground. However, as the issue leaked, officials from the Department of Revenue, Child Welfare Committee member B. Pandiaraja and Madurai Corporation City Health Officer P. Kumaraguruparan conducted an investigation that revealed several loopholes in Mr. Sivakumar's claim.
The crematorium document and another document claiming the referral of the boy from a Urban Primary Health Centre to the GRH were both forged, said Corporation Commissioner K. P. Karthikeyan."No COVID-19 infant was referred from the UPHC to the GRH. Similarly, no infant who died due to COVID-19 was buried at Thathaneri cremation grounds."
So, the Corporation filed a complaint with the police against Idhayam Trust director Sivakumar.
Meanwhile, as Sivakumar went absconding, a police complaint was lodged with Tallakulam police.
Additional Deputy Commissioner, K. Krishnamoorthi (Crime against Women and Children), led the investigation. "We tracked the child and rescued it. Two special teams have been formed to nab the accused," he said.
The Commissioner of Police said that only after the arrest of the accused would it known whether the child was sold or not.
The Corporation also shifted the inmates of Idhayam Trust to other old age homes that functioned under the purview of the civic body.
Child Welfare Committee Chairperson V.M. Vijaya Saravanan said illegal adoption was suspected in both cases. "Any adoption of a child must be carried out only through the District Court or through the District CWC," he added.
The public can contact 89400-14914 for any distress related to children.
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