VIJAYAWADA: Nine women and one youngster were arrested for their alleged involvement in a child trafficking case on Sunday, Eluru police said. The racket was busted by the officials of the Women and Child Welfare and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) departments.
Addressing the media, the Eluru district superintendent of police (SP) Rahul Dev Sharma said the key accused was identified as Medanki Nagamani from Pedavegi in Eluru district.
She sold the baby to another accused, Syed Gousiya Begum from Prathipadu in Guntur district, with the help of Teerdhala Durga, Mudavarthi Sarada, Garikimukku Vijaya Lakshmi Raju, Chilaka Durga Bhavani—all from Vijayawada —and Remalli Akhil from Pedavegi, Tadigiri Jhansi Rani from Tsunduru in Guntur, Rachuri Sunitha and Remalli Anitha—both from Ammapalem.
The incident came to light when the District Child Protection officials received a complaint from a local Anganwadi worker in Ammapalem village of Pedavegi Mandal that a 16-year-old rape survivor gave birth to a girl on June 4 at Eluru Government General Hospital and returned home without her baby. The Anganwadi worker informed the matter to her higher officials, who reached the village and inquired about the baby.
Based on a complaint lodged by Eluru District Child Protection Officer Padmavati on Thursday, police registered a case under IPC Section 370 (trafficking) read with 34 (act done by several people with a common intention) and Section 81 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act-2015. Police formed special teams to nab the accused involved in the racket and traced the baby on July 28. She was sent to the child protection centre.
The SP said, “Initially, the Ammapalem village anganwadi worker suspected that family members might have dumped the baby somewhere in order to give a fresh lease of life to the victim. However, it was later found that they sold the baby to a couple through Nagamani (key accused), who promised that she would help them personally and financially by putting up the baby for adoption.”
Nagamani, a worker at an Anganvadi centre in Eluru, informed Durga, Sarada and Vijaya Lakshmi about the infant. The four women then sold the baby to Gousiya Begum, who was desperate to have a child. The couple also tried to adopt a child through Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), but could not, the SP explained.
He said Nagamani developed a network at all government hospitals and Anganwadi centres. She would look for poor families who are willing to give up their babies for adoption.
“With the help of her friends and others in the same line of work, she would look for rich families and sell the babies for a minimum of Rs 2 lakh. The baby was sold for Rs 2.7 lakh and six of them shared the sum,” the SP said, adding that the girl’s family was also booked for its involvement in the case.
Nagamani would look for rich families and sell the babies for a minimum of Rs 2 lakh with the help of her friends and others. The rape survivor’s baby was sold for Rs 2.7 lakh and shared among 6 of them.