Probe on into the alleged sale of newborn baby gathers momentum

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Mystery shrouded the alleged sale of an infant at the Government Women and Child Hospital at Thycaud two weeks ago as the Thiruvananthapuram City police stumbled upon clues that suggested the child could not have been the first to have been “bought” by the buyer.

The Thampanoor police have received leads from the Childline that pointed towards the possibility that the Nedumcaud native woman, who allegedly bought the three-year-old child from its biological parents for ₹3 lakh on April 10, had “procured” another child five years ago. It is suspected the child had been purportedly sold to another person a few days later.

The police were, however, yet to ascertain such claims. The investigators also maintained it is premature to suspect the role of a clandestine child trafficking racket behind the sale at the Thycaud hospital.

The police were yet to track down the biological parents of the child. While the alleged buyer claimed the mother hailed from Ulloor, the contact number that was provided by the latter prior to her admission in the hospital was traced to a Pozhiyoor native. The number was last active at Kariyam near Peroorkada a few days ago.

The alleged buyer told the police that she had entered into an agreement with the biological mother of the child after coming into acquaintance with her two years ago. She also claimed to have paid ₹52,000 in advance before the delivery. Even while detecting certain contradictions in her statement, the police firmly believe that sale was a pre-planned one.

The Thampanoor police, which placed the Nedumcaud native under surveillance, is expected to seek permission from the court to register a case.

Meanwhile, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights convened an emergency meeting of various agencies including Kerala State Council for Child Welfare, Child Welfare Committee, and the police to discuss the progress of the case.

Commission chairperson K.V. Manoj Kumar said the police had been directed to register a case under Section 81 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, that delt with punishment against any person who sells or buys children, especially when such offences are committed by a person having actual charge of the child including employees of a hospital.

Assuring stringent steps against both the seller and the buyer, Mr. Kumar added the suspected role of middlemen in the transaction will also be investigated.

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