Kasargod child trafficking: Kundapur couple say baby was legally adopted
Silvester D'Souza / Daijiworld Media Network
Kundapur, Jul 6: In a new twist in the Kasargod child trafficking case wherein a man was arrested for selling his two infant sons, one in Kundapur and another in Mangalore, it has now turned out that the first child was not sold but legally adopted by a couple in Kundapur.
Krishnayya Achari, a resident of Chamtadi, Belur, who adopted the baby, also clarified that no exchange of money took place, contrary to earlier claims that the child had been sold for a sum of Rs 60,000.
It may be recalled that Rathish from Kasargod was arrested on charges of selling his first son one-and-a-half years ago when the child was only eight months old. Two weeks ago, he allegedly sold off his second child, a six-month-old son, in Mangalore. It was said that he had sold the sons for a total sum of Rs 1.6 lac.
It has now emerged Krishnayya and his wife had legally adopted the child from Rathish and did not pay him any money.
"We legally adopted the baby with the help of Mangalore-based advocate Ashalata Y Kamat, and the adoption was recorded at the sub-registrar's office on April 27, 2013," he said.
"I read about the case in the media which stated that the child had been sold. We were shocked by the report. My wife Shanta and I together got the adoption procedures done at the sub-registrar's office in the presence of Ankadakatte residents Ganesh Achar and Udaya Achar. Moreover, parents of the child Rathish and Prema too were present and signed the register," he said, adding that a sum of Rs 410 was paid as registration fee according to regulations.
Krishnayya also produced the relevant documents pertaining to the adoption, and said that he had adopted the child due to problems with his wife's health. "As per the information provided by the biological parents of the child, the baby was eight months old at the time of adoption and did not have any name. The baby had marks on the body and was ill. On June 26 this year, the child turned two years old. We have named him Chetan," he informed.
Krishnayya, son of Narayana Achari of Chamtadi, is 40 years old. From several years he has been engaged in the task of building the wooden frames of lorries at Hangarakatte. Last year, he shifted his garage to the premises of his house, and has been living in poverty. His wife is suffering from a heart ailment. As the couple have no child of their own, they decided to opt for adoption. The child is healthy.
As per rules, the adopted child should live with the parents who adopt it. However, in this case, the biological mother Prema had alleged that Rathish had sold the child without her knowledge. This point may prove significant in the case. On hearing the news about the child being sold, Krishnayya and his wife Shanta approached the Kundapur police on July 6 for help.
"I did not cross any legal boundaries while adopting the child. I adopted him as per procedures. He is my son now. I need justice," said Krishnayya.
Meanwhile the Kasargod police on Friday July 5 claimed that the mother of the two sons who were allegedly sold by the father, was also involved in the transaction.
Both Rathish (31) and his wife, Prema (28) from Tsunami Colony in Nellikunje here were arrested. Prema was arrested on the basis of Rathish's statement about her connivance.
The police have succeeded in locating and taking into custody the younger son, Bablu, from Mangalore.
The police want to apply for the police custody of Rathish, who is under judicial custody now, to get more information from him. As the marriage of Rathish and Prema was found to be not legally valid, the police want to find out as to whether they are connected with child trafficking cartel.