Minister accused of child-lifting agrees to DNA test

June 16th, 2009 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 16 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Minister Rajesh Tripathi is in trouble after a woman has accused him of stealing her son six years ago. Tripathi has denied the allegation and said he is ready for a DNA test on the child.
Tripathi, religious endowment minister, has challenged the claims of the woman, Pramila Sharma, that he stole her newly-born son from Gorakhpur medical college and hospital in 2004.

In a statement issued late Monday night, Tripathi said: “The woman, Pramila Sharma, is playing in the hands of my political rivals and I am ready for a DNA test. I am even ready for a narco test to challenge her claims.”

Pramila, of Deoria district, was here Monday for a DNA test to substantiate her claim that the six-year-old son of Tripathi was actually hers.

Pramila’s husband Ashok Sharma said in 2004 his wife gave birth to a baby boy in the Gorakhpur hospital. Tripathi’s sister, who was Pramila’s friend, had come to visit her in the hospital.

“Tripathi’s sister visited us in the hospital when the boy was born and on the third day, the boy was stolen from the ward. We searched for about 15 days and one day we saw Tripathi’s sister carrying the child,” Ashok Sharma told reporters here.

Tripathi added in his statement: “The boy was found abandoned in the Rampur Dhanauli village of Mau district on Jan 23, 2004, and the village panchayat (council) handed it over to me after written formalities.”

Ashok Sharma said that after the baby was stolen he and his wife had approached Tripathi, who was a journalist then, to return the child but he didn’t. “We lodged an FIR against him,” he said.

The matter was later taken to a court where Pramila insisted that she was ready for a DNA test at her own expenses.

Sharma alleged that Tripathi offered him money to give up the claim to the child.

“Tripathi has been claiming in newspapers since then (after the child went missing) that he found the child abandoned and has adopted him. If his claims are true, why is he avoiding the test,” said Sharma.

The Forensic Science Laboratory of Lucknow has the facility of only collecting DNA samples which are then sent to Bangalore or Hyderabad for examination.

Pramila’s DNA samples were collected at the FSL late Monday evening.

“It takes 15 to 20 days to get the final results,” an officer at the FSL told IANS.

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