Thiruvananthapuram: A prank among relatives went horribly wrong leading to the loss of three lives, one of them a newborn baby, Kerala police's probe into the abandoning of the infant has revealed.
In January this year, a newborn baby boy -- just a few hours old -- was found in a heap of dry leaves in Kollam district of Kerala and the infant later died in hospital.
Police investigation revealed that one Reshma, resident of Kalluvathukkal village in Kollam, was the mother of the infant and she was arrested in June.
During interrogation, Reshma said she had left her newborn to die in order to elope with a man -- Anandu -- whom she had befriended on Facebook but never met in person, police said.
According to police, she had not disclosed that she was pregnant to her husband, Vishnu, nor to anyone else in her family.
During their investigation to find out the woman's Facebook friend, police called two of her relatives -- Arya, her sister-in-law and Greeshma, her niece -- for questioning.
Police had summoned them as a mobile sim card in Arya's name was being used by Reshma to operate one of her multiple Facebook accounts.
However, in a strange twist of events, both women allegedly committed suicide by jumping into a river.
Thereafter, police questioned a male friend of Greeshma who revealed that she had told him that she and Arya created the Facebook account of Anandu to play a prank on Reshma, a senior police officer said.
Police also found that Arya had told her mother-in-law about the prank before she allegedly committed suicide.
Arya's husband later told the media that he was thankful to the police for finding out why his wife had taken that extreme step.
He said he had no idea about the prank.
Reshma's husband, who was abroad and came back after hearing of her arrest, told the media that had anyone told him what was going on, he could have put a stop to it.
Presently, Reshma is in judicial custody in a quarantine centre as she tested positive for COVID-19, police said and added that it has moved an application for her custody and the same is yet to come up for hearing.