A seven-month-old baby was rescued by the Delhi Police this month after his parents allegedly sold him to a Haryana-based couple for Rs 5 lakh. Police said it was the baby’s mother who informed the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) helpline about the case and asked for support to get the pending payment as she had allegedly only received Rs 20,000.
The DCW and Delhi Police found that the baby was sold 3 days after his birth at an IVF centre in Ghaziabad and arrested all eight persons, including the mother, in a case of child trafficking. The gang members have allegedly been operating from Delhi, UP and Haryana.
According to the police, the matter came to light on May 12 when the mother called the DCW helpline and confessed she had sold her baby in October 2021 and wanted help with the pending payment.
“We conducted an enquiry and found that the woman gave birth to a boy in October last year at a Malviya Nagar-based hospital. Her friend Sonia got her discharged two days after the delivery and took her to Sangam Vihar. A day later, she took the woman and her baby to an IVF centre in Ghaziabad where the baby was sold to another woman named Meena. The parents were promised Rs 5 lakh in exchange for the child,” DCP (South) Benita Marya Jaiker said.
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On the basis of the mother’s statement and enquiry, her friend Sonia and their associates Meena, Vineet, Rekha and Moni were arrested from Delhi and UP. The accused were interrogated and the child’s location was traced to Bhondsi, Haryana. “On June 7, we sent a team to Haryana and rescued the child. The baby was living with Digvijay Singh and his wife Pinku. They have also been arrested,” said the DCP. The baby is at a shelter home, said the police.
During the interrogation of the couple, the police learnt that Singh and Pinku lost their 17-year-old son in a road accident three years back and tried to conceive a baby through IVF but failed. They were then approached by a worker at an IVF centre who offered to sell them a newborn. The couple allegedly agreed. “One of the accused, Rekha, works as a counsellor at many of these IVF centres in UP. She collects data on parents who failed to conceive a child and calls them later. Rekha and her associate Moni were arrested in a similar case from Rohini in April this year,” added the DCP.
In the present case, the DCW found that the parents were paid Rs 20,000 in exchange for the child. The couple waited for months but weren’t paid the balance amount. The mother then called the DCW helpline and asked for support in getting the remaining amount from Meena. “Our team conducted an inquiry. The parents of the child already have 4 children and did not want to have another child. When the mother got pregnant again, she wanted to abort the child but was urged by her friend Sonia to sell it,” said the DCW in a statement.
“It’s extremely unfortunate that the parents ended up selling their own 3-day-old baby. Delhi Police and DCW have successfully rescued the baby, who is now safe in a shelter home. An FIR has been registered in the matter and the accused have been arrested. The Child Welfare Committee must rehabilitate the baby who should be given for adoption to loving parents. Cases of trafficking have increased and urgent and strict action needs to be taken to stop them,” DCW chief Swati Maliwal said.