Child Custody Leads to Killing

Indias Law commissions failure to draft a gender nuetral custody leads to many problems in life of Innocent children. As in India by default Women get custody, even she is prostitute. No matter how good Father is he hardly get even visitation and he has to fight decades of court battles to get just visitation, and that is also granted on surity or deposit his passport etc etc. Beacuse of Strong support of WCd/NCW government is not ready to make laws gender nuetral as women can use child to blackmail Father to pay for her, Another way to make money in the name of Child; that leads men to kill such women.

What began as a battle for custody has ironically left Adela Berenice Mantrique Acosta, all of five, without either parent. Accused of killing her mother to keep Adela with him, father Martin Mantrique is in a Chennai prison on murder charges. The girl is set to return to Mexico with her paternal grandmother, where she may find herself in the middle of another legal battle as the mother’s side seeks her custody.

The police officials, who had to separate the wailing, uncomprehending Adela from Mantrique, and the caretakers at a children’s home on the outskirts of Madurai where the girl was eventually taken, say the five-year-old’s plight moved even their hardened hearts.

“When we brought Martin to the police station, she clung on to him and refused to let him go. We could not leave her alone at their home as she is too young. It was terrible to see the angelic child cry endlessly even as we were trying to question him in the other room. Finally, some of the women personnel took her outside and consoled her,” said Inspector C Sethumanimadhavan, the investigating officer.

Mantrique told Adela he was going away for a while but that she would soon be with her grandmother.

According to officials, the strong attachment between Mantrique and his daughter was obvious, which allegedly led him to murder her mother Ceule Denise Acosta, who planned to take Adela to France.

“He is an educated and gentle person but became a murderer because he did not want to be separated from his daughter,” said the Inspector, adding that Mantrique had compounded his alleged crime by trying to hide it.

Adela was brought to Sakthi Vidiyal, a children’s home, on April 18. Mantrique was allowed to accompany her and spend some time with her before being taken to jail. On the first night, she cried to sleep asking for her father. But by the next morning, said officials, she seemed to have already calmed down.

“When we tried pacifying her saying her father would soon return to take her, she said she knew that wouldn’t happen as he was in prison. It was heartbreaking to hear her say that,” said Dr G Sharmila, the honorary project director of the home and a trained psychologist and counsellor. “She knows that her father is in prison, but does not know why. She has no idea what has happened to her mother, and we have decided it is not necessary to tell her anything now.”

Smart and intelligent, Adela settled down surprisingly fast at the home. The fact that she knows basic Tamil and had got used to the local food living with her father in Tamil Nadu for a year helped.

“She loves listening to stories. Sometimes, she joined in telling us stories she knew,” said C Jim Jesudoss, who started the home about two decades ago.

A two-judge bench of the Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench handed over Adela to Mantrique’s mother Monica on Thursday. That was after her DNA samples had been collected to confirm that the charred body the police suspect to be her mother’s was really hers.

Once she returns to Mexico though, Adela may find herself in the middle of another legal battle. Ceule’s mother too had approached the Madurai Bench seeking Adela’s custody. Giving the five-year-old to the father’s family, Justices M Vijayaraghavan and S Rajeswaran directed Mexican Embassy officials to keep monitoring her welfare, and said her maternal relatives could approach court in Mexico for getting her custody.

He didn’t want to be separated from his daughter

Martin Mantrique (40) and Ceule Denise Acosta (36) had been living together in Mexico but drifted apart over the years. As per a signed agreement between them, their daughter Adela was to stay alternatively with them.

Last May, Mantrique came down to India with Adela and settled down in Srivilliputhur in Virudhunagar, south Tamil Nadu, where he pursued post-doctoral research in mathematics. In September, Ceule followed and got enrolled at the prestigious Kalamandalam in Kerala to study Mohiniyattam, a traditional dance form.

Trouble began when Ceule asked for the custody of the child, whom Mantrique was supposed to hand over this May. However, the father refused as Ceule reportedly planned to take the child to France where she was headed. On April 4, Ceule came to his Srivilliputhur residence and they argued over Adela. Mantrique told the police that she hit him repeatedly and he retaliated, without intending to cause any serious injury. Police believe that she died on April 9 afternoon when he banged her head against a wall.

Realising what he had done, Mantrique allegedly hid the body in the bedroom, cleaned the blood stains and late in the night, after his daughter had gone to sleep, put the body in a large suitcase and kept it in the trunk of his car. The next day, he dropped Adela to school and reportedly went about his research work. In the night, he took his daughter on a drive around the area, which was reportedly a recce to identify a vacant place to dump the body.

Police say he bought about 12 litres of petrol from various pumps in water bottles along the way. Once he found a perfect place in Austinpatti near Madurai, he allegedly took the suitcase out from the trunk, poured petrol over it and set it on fire, even as their daughter slept inside the car.

On April 11, the Madurai police got information about a half-burnt body. It was so badly charred that it was difficult to tell even the sex of the person.

Subsequent investigations led the police to a missing person’s report filed for Ceule, and to Mantrique.

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