A prank played by two female relatives of a woman went horribly wrong, leading to loss of three lives, one among them an infant only hours old.
On Saturday last week, the police hunt for the Facebook friend of a woman who abandoned her newborn child for him ended when they discovered that the Facebook account was run by two of her female relatives, both of whom committed suicide for the fear of caught by the police and embarrassment over their prank having gone wrong.
Earlier this year, in January 2021, an infant was found abandoned in a heap of dry leaves in Kollam district of Kerala. The infant later died in a hospital. Soon thereafter, the police launched a probe to get to the bottom of the case.
A detailed probe into the matter, which included collecting DNA samples of women, led police to one Reshma, 22, who was the biological mother of the baby. She was arrested in June for the death of the newborn.
Reshma, 22, who hailed from Kalluvathukkal village in Kollamth, had abandoned her baby in a pit near a rubber plantation minutes after the newborn’s birth. Reshma confided in the police that her Facebook friend had put a condition that he would not accept her with another child.
“She had not revealed to her husband or other family members that she was carrying,” said ACP Y Nizamudheen who led the probe.
Reshma’s husband had moved to the Gulf four months ago and had returned after being informed about his wife’s arrest.
The police investigation revealed that Reshma was using a SIM card bought by her cousin Arya, who was summoned following the arrest. The police suspected Arya’s role in the case after Reshma informed them that she was asked by her Facebook ‘friend’ to abandon her baby.
But a day after the notice, Arya (23) and Greeshma (22), the daughter of Reshma’s sister-in-law, went missing. Their dead bodies were later recovered from a waterbody in the locality where they lived. The two were close friends.
“We got a breakthrough from Greeshma’s lover. Greeshma had told her lover that they were pranking Reshma and things had gone out of hand… after police issued summons, Arya had confessed to her mother-in-law the story about Reshma’s Facebook lover and the SIM used by her. After the mother-in-law went for NREGS work, Arya jumped into the river along with Greeshma,’’ Nizamudheen said.