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Hyderabad gang ‘bought’ babies from the poor in Delhi, Pune, ‘sold’ them for Rs 1.8-5.5 lakh in Telangana, Andhra



Hyderabad | Updated: May 29, 2024 07:26 IST


Police say 16 infants have been rescued; gang was ‘selling’ them to childless couples in the two states



Rachakonda Police Commissioner Dr Tarun Joshi said that on May 22, they received a complaint from an individual regarding the ‘sale’ of a baby girl under the jurisdiction of Medipally police station on the outskirts of Hyderabad. (Photo: Rachakonda Police/ X)


The Rachakonda Police Commissionerate in Telangana has busted an inter-state child trafficking racket and rescued 16 babies from a gang, which would ‘buy’ infants from the poor and the homeless in Delhi and Pune and ‘sell’ them to childless couples in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for anywhere between Rs 1.8 lakh and Rs 5.5 lakh.


While three people have been arrested, a manhunt is underway to pick up eight others.


Rachakonda Police Commissioner Dr Tarun Joshi said that on May 22, they received a complaint from an individual regarding the ‘sale’ of a baby girl under the jurisdiction of Medipally police station on the outskirts of Hyderabad.


Cops moved quickly and arrested two women, Shoba Rani and M Swapna, and a man named Shaik Saleem, who were allegedly trying to seal the deal to sell the infant. On interrogation, they confessed to running a network of ‘selling’ babies who were brought from New Delhi and Pune. The alleged kingpin has been identified as Bandari Hari Hara Chethan, 34, a security guard working in Ghatkesar on the outskirts of Hyderabad.


“The gang was procuring babies from two people, Kiran and Preethi, based out of New Delhi, and another person, Kannaiah, based in Pune. We have learnt that they have given nearly 50 babies from these two cities to the gang, which would then pass them on to agents and eventually to childless couples in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The price ranged from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 5.5 lakh per baby. The gang members used to receive a profit of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh after paying off agents and middlemen. We have rescued 11 babies and sent them to child welfare homes,” Joshi said.


Inspector R Govind Reddy from the Medipally police station, where the first complaint was lodged, said that prima facie it appears that the gang was purchasing the babies – aged between one month and two years – from poor, homeless people and bringing them to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.


“The gang was operating through small cells of two-three people and they did not know the identities of others involved. Using call records, we identified the remaining eight gang members. We first rescued two babies who were about to be sold, and then recovered nine more babies from couples who had purchased them. In the second operation, we rescued six babies from families from various parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Cases are being registered against persons who purchased these babies illegally,” Reddy said, adding that they are in the process of identifying more families that may have purchased a baby in the past.


© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd


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