Telangana police bust interstate child-trafficking racket: 11 arrested, 13 children rescued

Nearly 50 babies were supplied to them by three people in Delhi and Pune, who in turn sold them to childless couples through agents.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published May 29, 2024 | 8:00 AMUpdatedMay 29, 2024 | 9:23 AM

Child trafficking.

Busting an interstate child trafficking gang, Medipally Police of Rachakonda Commissionerate, have rescued 13 babies and arrested 11 people in this connection.

Acting on specific information, police busted the racket and arrested three persons on 22 May. Based on their confession eight others were arrested on 27 May, Rachakonda Police Commissioner Tarun Joshi said.

During the investigation, it was revealed that they got the babies from three people in Delhi and Pune. Nearly 50 babies were supplied to them, who in turn sold them to childless couples in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh through agents.

Till now 13 babies (nine girls and four boys) in the age group of one month to two years were rescued from the accused in coordination with the CWC (Child Welfare Committees), police added.

Additionally, the police have identified five more children whose caretakers have been asked to produce them before the police by Wednesday.

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The arrested

The people are identified as Shobarani — a doctor — Swapna, and Shaik Saleem were arrested on 22 May. Eight people — Bandari Hari Hara Chethan, Bandari Padma, Balgam Saroja, Mudavath Sharadha alias Shakeela Pathan, Mudavath Raju, Pathan Mumtaz alias Haseena, Jaganadam Anuradha, Yata Mamatha — were nabbed on 27 May.

The biological parents of the children have not been traced yet.

“Three people have been arrested in connection with the crime, including a doctor in Medipally. Children were being sourced from Delhi and Pune, with prices starting at ₹50,000 and reaching into lakhs. Action will be taken against both the selling parents and the buying families,” Joshi told South First.

CWC member Jayashree told South First that the children would be taken care of by the committee until the biological parents were traced.

“If the police cannot identify the parents, they will issue abandoned certificates. The children will then be available for adoption on the government website. Currently, they are in Shishuvihar for safe custody,” she added.

Medipally Inspector of Police R Govinda Reddy told South First that the informer was a reporter working for a YouTube channel.

“When we began the investigation, we traced the involvement of Shobarani and she gave the details of her parents and her agents which led us to Delhi,” he said.

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Over 30 people involved

“Over 30 people are involved in this illegal racket but we have the information of only 11. The price begins from ₹50,000 and continues to nearly ₹5 lakh as every agent takes their commission. They trace out childless couples who wanted children and then contact the parents who want to sell their children,” he added.

After knowing whether they want a boy child or a girl child, photos are sent on WhatsApp. Once parents like the children, they are transported to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The financial transfers are all direct cash and there is no online transaction,” detailed Govinda Reddy.

“We collected the details of parents who adopted illegally and did contact them to bring the children to handover. Few families have come but others have not cooperated, if they don’t as it is illegal we need to arrest them and register cases on them, he added.

Abhilash Reddy, advocate of one of the families who adopted a child, told South First that his clients proceeded with the transaction since they did not want to wait for years for a legal adoption.

“We are exploring legal options to prevent the arrest of the adopted parents. They explained that the legal process of adoption — which takes years — was not feasible for them. Our client adopted a baby girl when she was three days old. The child who is three months old now is with the child welfare committee. The parents (adopted) are saddened over the situation,” he added.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)