Three cases of newborn abandonment reported in 2018

Damchoe Pem/ Thimphu

Thimphu police have received three cases of newborn abandonment in 2018. The last case reported was on 31 December 2018.

The initial incident was informed to the police by a group of kids who found an infant abandoned near the mortuary house of JDWNRH.

Police said that as per the forensic report, the infant was a fully developed female newborn. The abandoned infant was found wrapped in a pink plastic with the placenta and umbilical cord still attached.

In addition, the forensic report also stated that no external injury was established. The report also confirmed that it was home delivery. The body of the infant was kept in the mortuary since then. However, since they could not trace the mother of the infant, they handed over the body to the Thromde for proper disposal on January 10, 2019.

Police said that they were not able to establish if it was a stillbirth or live birth.  Police suspect unwanted pregnancy as the reason behind the abandonment.

Since the place of crime was away from CCTV surveillance, the police did not get any lead on the case.

Similarly, the other two cases of abandonment, the police said couldn’t be ascertained, as the bodies of the infants were fished out from the river. Due to religious belief, people also bury dead infants in the river, the police conjectured.

Section 219 of PCB 2004 states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offense of abandonment of a dead infant if the defendant leaves a dead corpse of an infant in any place or manner other than required by the practice of disposal of such corpse.

Likewise, section 220 of PCB 2004 states that the offense of abandonment of a dead infant shall be a petty misdemeanor.

Police said that they are working towards determining the mother of the abandoned infant, police said.

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