August 20, 2021 10:35:55 pm
The Special Operations Group (SOG) of Kheda district police on Friday arrested four women for allegedly running a child trafficking racket by luring pregnant women to put up their biological newborns for sale.
Among the four arrested, is a woman with a five-day-old baby delivered through a cesarean section, police said. The newborn was allegedly put up for sale through a Nadiad-based woman named Maya, while the mother of the baby hails from Nagpur in Maharashtra.
Superintendent of Police, Kheda, Arpita Patel, told this The Indian Express, “We had received a tip off about such a child trafficking racket running from Nadiad. Since it is a sensitive issue, we planned and laid a trap with the help of a civilian. On the day the newborn was to be handed over to the dummy buyer, a wpman constable accompanied him as his wife and we caught them red-handed.”
Patel added that primary investigation has revealed that three of the women detained were “mothers wanting to sell their children”, while one of the accused is the main conspirator and the mastermind of the racket. “The accused, Maya, hails from Maharashtra but has been settled in Nadiad for several years. The new mother, who delivered a baby five days ago, had arrived in Nadiad a month ago and was living in Maya’s house as the ‘sale’ was planned. So, we have booked them under the relevant sections for criminal conspiracy. Another accused has told the police that she has sold three children through this racket so far. It appears to have its roots in other states as well and we are probing deeper to understand whether they commission pregnancies or just lure pregnant women from weak financial backgrounds,” Patel said.
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The police also said that the women had, so far, been making inconsistent statements. “We do not know yet whether these women are married… It is not a surrogacy racket. These are biological children of the accused women themselves. We will also match the DNA samples of the women and the children to ascertain their relationships during the investigation,” Patel said.
The four women were formally arrested late Friday evening after undergoing the mandatory Covid-19 test. The accused have been booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code for knowingly trafficking minor (370), attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other (511), criminal conspiracy [120(b)], crime committed in presence of an abettor (114) as well as sections of the Juvenile Justice Act for cruelty to a child (75), kidnapping and abduction of child (80) and offence committed by a person having the actual charge of the child (81).
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