4 arrested for trying to sell baby

Accused came to hand the child to a decoy customer

Four persons, including three women, have been arrested from Dakshinpuri area of south Delhi for trying to sell a four-month-old baby for Rs 1 lakh, police said on Thursday.

Chandra Devi, 64, Heera Devi, 42 and Pooja Devi, 22, were held when they came to sell the baby boy to a decoy customer deputed by the Crime Branch.

“We had received a tip-off that a woman -- now identified as Chandra Devi -- was searching for a prospective buyer for a four-month-old child. The information was developed and the woman was contacted by our decoy customer,” said Sanjay Bhatia, additional deputy commissioner of police (crime).

The decoy customer was told the boy was available for sale and Rs 1 lakh was demanded. 

“We then struck a deal and agreed to pay the demanded money and gave the woman Rs10,000 as token money,” Bhatia added. Chandra Devi was arrested along with Hira and Pooja Devi. A member of Shakti Vahini, a NGO working on anti-trafficking, was accompanying the raiding party.

The child was rescued and produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Lajpat Nagar. The committe ordered the boy to be admitted at Upvan, an NGO in Safdarjang Enclave, for shelter, care and protection.

Meanwhile, on sustained interrogation, the women told police none of them was the actual mother of the child. 

“They also revealed the baby’s father was a man named Neeraj and that they were selling the child on Neeraj’s instance on commission basis,” Bhatia said.

Neeraj Mahalwal, 22, was arrested later on the basis of their statement. He told police that he had been living with a woman in rented accommodation in Dakshinpuri for the past one-and-a-half year. “They are not married. The woman gave birth to the child in October 2011. Neeraj wanted to separate from her and get rid of the child. He contacted Heera Devi to sell the child,” Bhatia added.

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