Gang helps SoBo woman sell baby in Hyd
Police Probing If Newborn Boy Was Stolen From A Hospital
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.