Father kisses his newborn on the forehead before abandoning it in a church
The man later told the officials that he had abandoned his infant fearing being publicly shamed for having a fourth child, according to reports
A father was captured in a CCTV camera kissing his newborn baby on the forehead before abandoning it in a church in the Indian state of Kerala.
The incident was reportedly caught on the building's surveillance camera and shows a 32-year-old Bitto leaving the three-day-old infant carefully on the ground, beside a booth and looking around if anyone saw him putting the child down.
The footage then shows the man quickly walking away as he takes out his cellphone.
Bitto and 28-year-old wife Pratibha were arrested on Saturday morning last week for abandoning the newborn child at St George Forane Church in Edappally on Friday evening, according to police officials.
The man later told officials that he had abandoned his infant fearing he would be publicly shamed for having a fourth child. His wife had allegedly joined Bitto in the crime before being officially discharged from a local hospital after giving birth.
Police officials, however, have said that they have launched a detailed investigation into the case to reach a final conclusion. Reports state that security officials at the church found the baby at 8:30 pm who was in a healthy condition and immediately alerted the police.
The baby was reportedly found half an hour after the father abandoned it, and was rushed to the hospital. The child reportedly remains at the hospital.
The police identified the couple after the watching the CCTV footage and both of them were arrested the morning after the incident.
The couple can be seen talking and walking around outside the church with the baby carefully wrapped in an orange blanket.
Pratibha's friends and family had reportedly ridiculed Pratibha for becoming pregnant again and the couple eventually decided to abandon the baby after the woman gave birth at the hospital, according to India Today.
Both Bitto and Pratibha have been charged under IPC Section 317 – exposure and abandonment of child under 12 years, by parent or person having care of it.
Reports state that they were also charged under the Juvenile Justice Act, Section 75 – punishment for cruelty to child.