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Mother charged for voluntary manslaughter in P’ling baby case

Charging the mother for voluntary manslaughter and statutory rape, Phuentsholing police has forwarded the case of the newborn that was thrown out of a hotel window in Phuentsholing town in April this year to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

Police officials say they traced the newborn baby’s father, a 19-year-old class eight student from the locality. The woman has been charged for statutory rape because the student was below the age of consent (18) while they started physical relationship in 2016.

The case surfaced when a police patrol team in Phuentsholing found a 3.6kg newborn dead in an alley of Goedoe Lam on the early morning of April 15.

The newborn was suspected of being thrown out of a hotel corridor window from the third floor.

A 24-year old woman, the sweeper of Sertena primary school (SPS) in Haa, was traced as the newborn’s mother. Police arrested the sweeper and the school’s officiating principal and a teacher, who had shared the room with her that evening.

The baby was delivered on April 14 night and was born alive, forensic reports confirmed.

The woman, in her initial statement, said that a cow herder in her village was the father of the child. She also admitted that she threw the baby.

Police sent blood samples of the principal and teacher in Kolkata for a DNA test. The test results have not yet arrived.

The officiating principal and the teacher were granted bail on May 14.

Police sources said a team went to Sertena to investigate the case on July 19 and found that the woman, who is still in the police custody, was in a physical relationship with a former student of the school.

Officials said the team found that the former student, who is the woman’s neighbour, often went to help the woman’s family for a construction in 2016 and started a relationship.

According to him, he had stayed a night at the woman’s house.

“He said that since they did not use any protective measures, the woman became pregnant and had aborted the child before,” police sources said. “He had learnt about the abortion at school although she did not share it with him.”

Police also said that despite his parents advising against meeting the woman, he continued to have a physical relationship with the woman. “He went to another school but in 2017 summer vacation they met again and had sexual relation.”

Police also said that in January 2018, the woman again informed him about missing her period. “Although he doubted she could be pregnant, he got the confirmation only when the news was out in Kuensel.”

When the woman was arrested on April 15, she did not admit to delivering the baby until she was taken to the hospital for a check-up.

She also had told police that the baby was born dead.

It was learnt that the hotel room had no signs of a baby being delivered.

The officiating principal and the teacher are charged for aiding and abetting.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

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