KEY POINTS

  • The newborn was found dumped in January this year
  • The police identified the mother and arrested her on June 22
  • Reshma reportedly hid her pregnancy and delivered the child secretly

A 22-year-old mother in India who had abandoned her newborn to elope with her virtual "lover" was duped by two of her relatives via a fake Facebook account, police said. The abandoned newborn later died and the two women ended their lives when the prank went awry.

A newborn baby was found dumped in a village in Kollam, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, on Jan. 5. The baby was found in a heap of dry leaves in a secluded area and was rushed to a nearby hospital but could not survive. 

The police identified the child's mother as 22-year-old Reshma using DNA evidence collected from the newborn and arrested her on June 22, almost six months after the baby's death, The Indian Express reported.

Upon questioning, Reshma admitted she had abandoned her husband's child after delivering the baby secretly in her house to elope with her lover, "Anandhu" whom she had befriended through Facebook. However, the investigation revealed the "lover" never really existed, and Reshma was pranked by her two relatives using a fake account.

After Reshma's arrest, her co-sister Arya and husband's niece Greeshma were summoned for questioning as the police found that the mobile SIM card used to contact the "lover" belonged to Arya. The two women, however, did not appear before the police and reportedly went missing the next day. 

The pranksters killed themselves by jumping into a nearby river and their bodies were recovered later, police said.

After their deaths, a male friend of Greeshma revealed to the investigators that she had told him about Arya and herself creating a Facebook account with the name "Anandhu" to play a prank on Reshma, a senior police officer told Deccan Chronicle. Arya had also reportedly confessed to her mother-in-law about the prank after the police summoned her.

Police found out that Reshma had managed to hide her pregnancy from the family and delivered the baby in the toilet outside her house. “She had not revealed to her husband or other family members that she was carrying,” Assitant Commissioner of Police Y Nizamudheen, who led the probe, said. 

newborn-1399155_640 Representational image Photo: pixabay

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