A week after six persons were arrested in connection with a child selling racket, Mumbai Police crime branch said Monday the accused were a part of an interstate gang. Police have also arrested four persons, including three from Delhi, and rescued two children who were reportedly sold to two men in Delhi.
While three persons arrested from Delhi are relatives, the crime branch officers obtained the custody of a fourth person, Julehuma Dalvi (32), from Byculla women’s jail. So far, 10 arrests have been made in the case and four children rescued. On July 1, the crime branch had arrested six persons in the case.
An officer said that while initially it was suspected the accused purchased and sold children within the city limits, during interrogation it came to light that Bhagyashree Koli, one of the persons arrested earlier, had sold children to couples in Delhi as well.
Nexus between surrogacy network, child selling racket
A nexus between surrogacy networks and child selling racket has come to the fore with the recent arrests of 10 people in an interstate racket, police said. According to police, most of the women arrested in the child selling racket were either surrogate mothers in the past who were no longer physically healthy enough to become surrogates again or worked as nurses in hospitals. These women, who are in touch with childless couples or those who wanting a male child, formed a key link between the clients and child selling gang, police said.
Accordingly a police team reached to Delhi and arrested one Neha Gupta, who is reportedly linked to Koli. “During Gupta’s interrogation, it came to light that she had sold two children, aged 1.5 years and 2.5 years, to two of her relatives, namely Abhinav Agarwal, a businessman, and Rahul Gupta, who works in a private company, a few years ago,” an officer said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Akbar Pathan said, “Apart from the three persons who were arrested from Delhi, we have also taken into custody one Julehuma Dalvi from Byculla jail after finding her links in the case.”
Dalvi has been arrested twice in connection with child trafficking, police said.
Of the four children rescued, the police have identified the biological mothers of two children, while they are questioning the arrested to identify the biological parents of the two others. The police are also in the process of carrying out DNA tests of the accused and children to confirm if they are related.
Pathan said, “We are interrogating the arrested persons further as we suspect that there may be more people involved in the racket.”