Gang helps SoBo woman sell baby in Hyd

Po­lice Prob­ing If New­born Boy Was Stolen From A Hos­pi­tal

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - [email protected]­

Mum­bai: The city po­lice have busted a baby traf­fick­ing racket by ar­rest­ing four per­sons, three of them women, who had sold a new­born boy to a Hy­der­abad cou­ple. The po­lice raided the cou­ple’s home and res­cued the in­fant and are now try­ing to fig­ure out who his par­ents are and whether he was stolen from a hos­pi­tal. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on to as­cer­tain if the cou­ple, on their part, fol­lowed child adop­tion norms; they are yet to be ques­tioned by the po­lice.

The king­pin of the racket, Huma Dalvi (32), is a ha­bit­ual of­fender who was ar­rested by the Wadala po­lice in 2017 for a sim­i­lar of­fence. This time, along with her, the VP Road po­lice have ar­rested two ac­com­plices, Sarika Jad­hav (23) and Ma­hesh Prasad (52), and also a woman, Mahi Singh (22), who claimed to be the boy’s mother. All have been booked un­der sev­eral sec­tions of the IPC, in­clud­ing traf­fick­ing of a mi­nor, and un­der the Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice Act. Po­lice are look­ing for an­other woman, Su­jata, who is al­legedly part of the gang, and Mahi’s hus­band, Jasvin­der. Call de­tail records of all ac­cused are be­ing looked at for in­for­ma­tion on who else could have been part of the racket, in­clud­ing past or prospec­tive baby buy­ers.

The racket came to light af­ter Mahi, a house­wife from Khet­wadi, Gir­gaum, lodged a com­plaint at the VP Road po­lice sta­tion on Thurs­day that three per­sons had forcibly taken away her new­born and sold him in Hy­der­abad. She said she had ini­tially sold the baby, but then changed her mind. “We

5 years’ jail

| Pun­ish­ment for sell­ing or buy­ing chil­dren

3 years’ jail

| Pun­ish­ment for adop­tion without pre­scribed pro­ce­dure. There could also be only a fine of `1 lakh or both jail and fine WHAT ABOUT THE RES­CUED BABIES? dis­patched a team to that city,” said a po­lice of­fi­cer prob­ing the case. “Su­jata, who we are yet to trace, ne­go­ti­ated be­tween the gang and Mahi. The boy was sold to the Hy­der­abad cou­ple for Rs 2.8 lakh, of which Mahi re­ceived Rs 2.1 lakh.” PUN­ISH­MENT

Po­lice traced the cou­ple, Nitin and Niru Agar­wal, and learnt Huma had pre­pared an “agree­ment” be­tween them and the Singhs. “In pre­par­ing it, Huma didn’t fol­low the law and by­passed adop­tion pro­ce­dures,” said an of­fi­cer. “Also the Singhs’ Aad­haar cards, copies of which were at­tached to doc­u­ments in which they claimed to be the boy’s par­ents, were found to be forged. We be­lieve Mahi and her hus­band gave a false rep­re­sen­ta­tion that the boy was theirs. We be­lieve the baby has been stolen from a hos­pi­tal.”

In Oc­to­ber 2016, Huma was ar­rested, along with an ac­com­plice, Ju­lia Fer­nan­des. The Wadala Truck Ter­mi­nal po­lice raided Fer­nan­des’s home and res­cued a 14-day-old boy, kept for sale. The duo’s in­ter­ro­ga­tion led the po­lice to sev­eral doc­tors, IVF clin­ics and il­le­gal abor­tion cen­tres in Navi Mum­bai, in­clud­ing Pan­vel, and Nala­sopara. The po­lice found that the duo had sold six babies. Huma’s modus operandi was to look for cou­ples who wanted to abort. She would con­vince them to keep the baby and sell it to them for Rs 20,000-50,000. She and her agents also used to find women for sur­ro­gacy and lead them to IVF cen­tres.

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