An infant was rescued after five women and two men were arrested by the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch for allegedly being involved in the sale of babies to childless couples.
According to DCP (Crime Branch AHTU) Vichitra Veer, “During questioning, it was revealed that one of the accused, Jyoti, worked in an IVF clinic where she came in contact with couples, who were possible clients. She had come in contact with the other accused, who all saw an opportunity to make money by selling children to these couples.”
The DCP said Jyoti approached couples who were interested in adopting a child, promising that she would take care of the adoption process for an agreed sum.
The police said the other accused were identified as Veena, Madhu Sharma, Salmi Devi, Bablu Shah, Barkha, Jyoti, and Pawan. They added that Pawan was previously involved in a kidnapping case and was out on bail.
The police said that, based on information, Sharma was contacted along with Veena who allegedly agreed to sell a baby boy for Rs 6.5 lakh to a police officer posing as a customer. Sharma then called Jyoti, who came with Barkha and Bablu, to deliver the boy at an agreed time and place.
They handed over the baby to the police officer after accepting an initial sum of Rs 4 lakh. All of them were then arrested, and the cash and infant were recovered. The police said that after further investigation, Pawan and Salmi Devi were also arrested.
The police said that the accused knew a Jharkhand resident who would allegedly bring newborn babies from the state and hand them over to Salmi Devi. They said that the accused ensured that the child changed hands many times before being given to the client, so if one of them was caught, the rest could escape. They also said that a team was sent to Jharkhand to arrest the accused, but he had already escaped by then.
The investigation was based on a Crime Branch FIR filed under sections 370(4) (trafficking of a minor), 363 (kidnapping) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), said the police.