Four women, including a young mother, have been arrested by Virudhunagar police for selling a newborn male baby in what appears be an organised racket.
According to the police, a married couple — Muniyasamy and Muthusudali — residing at Santhana Mariamman street in Sethur near Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district, already had a child. The husband, a daily wager, was clear he could not afford bring up another child.
As a result, when Muthusudali became pregnant again, she hid it from her husband for a few months — till it was too late to abort the baby.
On 17 October, Muthusudali was admitted to the Rajapalayam Government Hospital when she went into labour. The following day, the woman gave birth to a baby boy.
As Muniyasamy was insistent about not keeping the child, Muthusudali contacted her friend Rajeswari, a resident of Mugavur in Virudhunagar. Rajeswari visited the young mother at the hospital and they hatched a plan to sell the newborn to a childless couple.
Baby sold for ₹3.5 lakh
According to the police, Rajeswari convinced Muthusudali that she would get a tidy amount by selling the baby.
The two friends escaped from the hospital with the newborn, without informing the hospital authorities. Rajeswari then contacted one Jayabal, a resident of Perumuthur, who put them in touch with Revathi, a native of Mettukadai in Erode district.
Jayabal then took the baby to Erode and handed it over to Revathi who, in turn, sold the child to a couple — Manikampalayam residents Thambiraj and Azina — on 25 October for ₹3.5 lakh.
Meanwhile, the Rajapalayam hospital authorities had passed on information about the missing mother and the newborn to the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), prompting the unit’s officials to visit Muthusudali’s house for an enquiry.
Muthusudali told the officials that the child was dead and the couple had cremated the body. Suspecting foul play, the DCPU officials informed the Sethur police.
The police investigation
The Sethur police brought in Muthusudali and her friend Rajeswari for questioning, during which they confessed that the newborn was sold to Revathi.
A police team then went to Erode and detained Revathi and eventually reached the couple, Thambiraj and Azina, who bought the baby.
However, the police were shocked to find that the couple already had four children. Further inquiry revealed that Revathi and Azina were involved in the child kidnapping and baby-selling racket.
Muthusudali’s newborn baby was rescued and handed over to the DCPU officials at Virudhunagar.
All four women, including the mother, were remanded on 20 November. Police are on the lookout for Jayabal, who is absconding.
Earlier instances in Virudhunagar
This is not the first such case in Virudhnagar.
In February 2022, nine persons were arrested by Sulakarai police in Virudhunagar for selling a one-year-old female baby to a couple in Madurai for ₹2.5 lakh.
The mother Kalaiselvi, who remarried after her husband’s death, sold the girl child, as it was a hindrance to her new marital life.
In February this year, Maraneri police in Vurudhunagar arrested five persons, including two nurses, for selling a newborn to a Nagercoil-based couple.
Poverty had driven the parents, Pandeeswaran and Panjavarnam, to sell the baby for ₹40,000.