Andhra couple's attempt to sell three-month-old girl foiled

 An attempt to sell a three-month-old baby girl by a young couple in Andhra Pradesh was foiled in Mancherial town of Adilabad district, police said today.

Accused Atram Akbar and Maheshwari, in their 20s, allegedly tried to sell the baby for Rs 1.5 lakh yesterday and planned to utilise the money to start a business. The couple even negotiated with one "buyer" for the same, but after some locals suspected their intention, the "attempt" was foiled, they said.

According to Mancherial police, the couple who hail from Venkatapur village in Kashipet mandal of Adilabad district were "boycotted" by their relatives and villager elders around four years back, as both being cousins, fell in love and were driven out of the village following their "relationship".

The couple, who are not yet married shifted to Mancherial town to eke out a living. About three months back, Maheshwari delivered the baby girl, Mancherial Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Y Vijay told PTI.

"It seems after being ostracised...both of them now wanted to return to their village and were hence planning to get rid of the baby. They intended to hand over the baby to childless parents and in return expected some monetary benefit to start a business. They even spoke to one "buyer" and were bargaining between Rs 1.3 to Rs 1.5 lakh amount in return for the baby," the DSP explained.

However, with the intervention of locals (who even thrashed Akbar), their plans were foiled and they were handed over to police last night.

Police also verified if the couple were some middlemen or the biological parents of the baby and found that Maheshwari had indeed delivered the girl in Mancherial and had been breastfeeding her.

The DSP said no case has been registered against the couple as they only wanted to hand over the baby to childless parents and hoped for getting some amount in return.

"Both of them have been counselled and if they don't want the baby we will send the baby to Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centre," he said.

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