The Swargate police on Saturday arrested a couple who had allegedly stolen a three-month-old baby boy of a migrant labourer couple 10 days ago and sold it for Rs 3 lakh.
The victim couple,Rekha and Raju Pardhe of Parbhani district,had come to Pune two weeks ago in search of work. On October 23,the two had started from Undri to meet Rekhas sisters in Pashan. When they reached Katraj,Raju left Rekha and their three kids and went away to consume liquor. When Rekha was waiting at the bus stop,a man and a woman approached her and said they could help her find a job.
They took Rekha and her three kids to Patil Plaza building in Swargate area where the woman asked Rekha to handover the baby to her and go upstairs with the man to meet the employer. However,the man told Rekha on the stairs that he wanted to go to the bathroom and fled from the spot. When Rekha came downstairs after sometime,she found that the woman and her baby Amarnath were missing.
The police launched a search in the case and released CCTV footage and sketches of the suspects. In days that followed,police received several calls informing them about the suspects with similar descriptions but they were not traced. On Saturday afternoon,police received a tip-off about two persons in Balajinagar area and detained a couple identified as Manish Gandhi (40) and his wife Paresha (35).
Senior inspector Ram Pathare said,We verified their identity and during interrogation they revealed that they had sold the baby to another couple Supriya and Navin Gudikundala of Dhankawadi. We found the baby at the couples house,which was identified by the mother. We have arrested Manish and Paresha and have detained the Gudikundala couple.
DCP Ramnath Pokale said,Gudikundala couple,who do not have a child,had asked Manish to help them find a baby. They promised to give him Rs 3 lakh for the job. On the day of the incident,Manish and Paresha saw Rekha alone and decided to steal her baby. They have accepted Rs 90,000 from Gudukundala.
Pokale added,The baby is fine. Rekha will get the custody after a short court procedure. DNA test will also be performed on both Rekha and the baby.