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Doctor runs baby selling racket, held

Bangalore:Dec 27, 2012 DH News Service 13:52 IST

Her 24-yr-old son was an accomplice in the crime

A police woman holds the baby that was rescued by the  police from Dr Parvin (top right) Director, Getwell Hospital in Neelasandra, Bangalore on Thursday. Dr Parvin, and her son Harsha (below), who were caught red-handed while selling the baby for money, are in police custody.  DH Photo / Kishor Kumar Bolar
In a startling incident that sparked speculations of a child trafficking racket in the City, the owner of a private nursing home at Neelasandra was caught red-handed while selling an infant on Thursday.

During a preliminary probe by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), the accused Parvin, a gynaecologist, confessed to selling at least four newborns since 2004. The arrest comes days after a baby went missing from Vani Vilas Hospital in the City.

Besides the 48-year-old doctor, who is also the owner of Getwell Hospital, the Ashoknagar police have arrested her son Harsha, 24, who acted as an intermediary in the deal. The police have rescued the baby boy and referred him to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health. He is said to be in good health. However, neither the baby nor his parents have been identified, the police said.

CWC sources told Deccan Herald that the doctor denied being part of a larger racket, but admitted that the infant was the fifth baby she had tried to sell. She also claimed that the baby’s mother had fled the nursing home after giving birth 20 days ago. Parvin told the CWC that she had sold only those babies who were abandoned by their mothers after giving birth at the nursing home.

Geeta Kulkarni, senior inspector with the Basaveshwara Nagar police station, is investigating the case. High drama preceded the doctor’s arrest. Acting on a tip-off that newborn babies were being sold for adoption at the Getwell Hospital, a TV channel had attempted a sting operation on Parvin some months ago. However, the doctor had denied any such activity in the hospital when a woman approached her to “buy” a baby for adoption. The woman left behind her visiting card for Parvin to contact her, in case she came across any orphaned baby. A week ago, Parvin called the woman.

Sources said the doctor had initially quoted Rs 3 lakh for the baby, but agreed to sell the baby for Rs 85,000 after negotiations. This was when the CWC and the City police entered the scene. The woman had told Parvin that she needed the baby for a friend.

An elaborate trap was laid by Joint Commissioner (crime-west) Pranab Mohanty to
catch the doctor red-handed. Roopa Hadagali, a sub-inspector with the Upparpet police station headed the operation. She went to the hospital posing as the woman’s friend.

“I and one of my colleagues posed as a couple willing to adopt a child and trapped the doctor on Thursday afternoon. We paid Rs 20,000 as agreed before as advance and the doctor handed over the baby to us,” she said. Harsha, the doctor’s son, acted as an intermediary. A police team, waiting outside, barged into the nursing home immediately after the sub-inspector came out with the baby.

The doctor and her son were arrested and the money recovered. Police sources said Parvin had started the hospital in 2003. She was married to a retired Army officer, Colonel Prakash.

The couple have two children, a daughter who is pursuing medical studies at Vaidehi Hospital, Whitefield, and Harsha, a BE in computer science, is preparing for the civil services examination.

The Ashoknagar police have registered a case against the mother-son duo under Section 372 of the IPC, for trafficking minors. The accused, if convicted, can be imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years.

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