Police officials investigating the death of a one-year-old baby in Udupi district have ended their search for a kidnapper after it emerged that the mother of the baby had tried to kill herself along with her two children.
The lifeless body of the infant was found wedged onto a low-lying tree branch over the Kubja river on Friday. Baby Sanvika Naik was missing from her home in Kumtiberu at Yadamogge village in Kundapur.
In her statement to the police, Rekha, mother of Sanvika said that at around 4 am on July 11, an unidentified suspect had gained entry into her home.
“I woke up hearing the footsteps and noticed that he had already taken Sanvika who was sleeping next to me and my 5-year-old son Sathvik. I begged the masked man to give my child back, but he ran away through the back-door,” she said.
However, police officials found several inconsistencies in the statements made by the mother. The mother's version was disproved by the couple’s son Sathvik, who told the police that it was his mother who forced him to jump into the river along with his baby-sister. “I cried and pleaded my mother not to force me into the water, and it was then that the villagers gathered and rescued us,” the police officials said quoting the boy.
Rekha later admitted to the police that she was disturbed for several days as her marriage had reached a breaking point due to her differences with her husband Santhosh’s mother. On July 11 at 4 am, out of frustration, she decided to take the extreme step and took her son and Sanvika to the nearby river. She then threw her daughter into the river and entered the water along with her son. But the son started screaming which alerted the neighbours who pulled them out of the river. Not knowing what to say, since Sanvika had drowned, Rekha made up the story of abduction.
Rekha’s husband Santhosh, who worked as a night-watchman at Hosangadi at Kundapur during the time of the incident (about 5 km from Yedamogge), said he came to know of the incident only from his wife when he returned home.
The manhunt launched to search for the kidnapper was ended following Rekha's admission. Police officials said they are waiting for the post-mortem report, following which further action will be taken on Rekha.
Update: The story has been changed as on Friday the police was under the impression that a masked man had kidnapped the baby.
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