Tripura CM stresses on social awareness to prevent ‘child selling’ episodes

Agartala, May 27 (IANS) Days after a three-day-old baby girl in Tripura’s Dhalai district was rescued hours after a poor tribal woman reportedly sold the infant, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha on Monday said more social awareness is needed to make sure such incidents do not happen again.

Noting that he had taken stock of the situation, the Chief Minister said that he took information from the District Magistrate and Collector of Dhalai district Saju Vaheed A, about the incident of the newborn being rescued and returned to her mother.

Referring to the allegations of the CPI-M about the “child sale” and economic distress of rural people and their suffering from acute scarcity of food and work, CM Saha said: “We used to witness such things (child sale and other problems) everyday when the Left parties were in power. I suggest people read the newspapers of that time (Left regime) and check.”

The Chief Minister said that considering the backwardness, the state government provides 10 per cent additional funds for development to Dhalai district, which is categorised as ‘Aspirational District’ by the Central government.

“Aspirational districts are areas where the government provides extra funds and focus to bring them at par with other districts. This ‘Aspirational District’ was earlier neglected by the previous government,” he told the media.

Saha said that the Chief Secretary briefed him in details about the incident (alleged child sale) and apprised that funds were provided by the local administration to the concerned tribal family and other steps were also taken to support the family.

“The opposition parties are creating issues and misguiding people against the government,” he said.

Reacting to the matter, BJP spokesperson Ashmita Banik on Monday said that the opposition CPI-M and Congress have tried to confuse people with false information of child sale in Dhalai district.

“A woman in Dhalai district gave away her newborn infant to a childless family for adoption. Unfortunately, the legal procedure for adoption was not followed in this case,” she told the media.

The DM, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Child line executives, local district council members visited and took stock of the situation.

“The mother of the newborn wanted to have a medical termination of the child but the doctor didn’t recommend it since the pregnancy was in an advanced stage. Then the tribal woman gave the child away almost for free to a childless couple for adoption. There is no case of child sale here. It is a complete lie,” Bank told the media.

Earlier, opposition leader Jitendra Chaudhury had said that a three-day old baby girl was reportedly sold by her mother due to ‘extreme poverty’ and he informed Dhalai District Magistrate and Collector Saju Vaheed A and Tripura Chief Secretary J.K. Sinha and sought their intervention.

Local media reports also said that a woman, Mormari Tripura (39), gave birth to a girl on May 23 at the Gandachara Sub-Divisional Hospital and the next day, she reportedly sold the infant to a couple for Rs 5,000.

According to reports, Mormari’s husband reportedly committed suicide five months ago due to financial hardship.

She is the mother of five children, including the newborn.

The District Magistrate had said the local authorities rescued the baby and handed it over to the woman on May 25.

“The mother and the newborn are now at home in Gandachara. The woman has been facing severe poverty, especially after her husband’s death. But it is not true that she sold her ration card and other documents to others,” Vaheed A had told IANS.

–IANS

sc/pgh

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