A two-month-old baby, allegedly sold off for Rs 22,000 by his poverty-stricken parents, was rescued by Cyberabad police Sunday.
The baby was handed over to a Shishuvihar run by the state department of women and child welfare. A case has been registered against the parents and four others, including the mediators in the ‘sale’.
Police sources said the parents decided to sell off the baby as they were out of work and money. The matter, however, is still under investigation.
DCP Balanagar PV Padmaja said there had been a paper agreement between the two parties regarding the ‘sale’.
The parents, Madan Singh and Saritha, live in Bathukamma Banda near Jagathgirigutta. Madan Singh worked as a daily wager and was addicted to alcohol, said the police. According to the police, on Saturday night, the couple sold the baby for Rs 22,000 to one of their neighbours named Seshu, who wanted to give the boy to her child-less sister.
Based on a tip-off from neighbours, the police brought the parents and the buyer to the police station, and they allegedly confessed to the crime.
“The father is an alcoholic. We are told he did not have any work due to the lockdown. For want of money, they decided to sell the baby,” said inspector K Balraj of Jeedimetla police station. The couple has another son, a 7-year-old. They hail from Warangal, the inspector added.
Child Protection Officer of Medchal-Malkajgiri district, Priyanka, said the mother had not been keen on the idea, but gave in because of poverty. Asked if the decision to sell the baby had to do with lockdown-related unemployment, she said, “Not particularly because of the lockdown situation. Otherwise too, they were struggling to feed themselves. So, they thought it was better to give the baby away when they could not take care of him.”
Meanwhile, child rights activist Achyuta Rao of Balala Hakkula Sangham demanded that the matter be thoroughly investigated. “People are saying the family was starving due to the Covid-19 situation, which has forced many out of work. The police should examine the reality. Selling of infants has become a regular practice and the department should create more awareness on their Cradle Scheme, to avoid sale or abandoning of children,” he said.
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