A six-month-old baby, allegedly sold to a couple, has been recovered and five persons, including its mother and two employees of the Lady Goschen Hospital, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the trafficking of the child. The baby has been sent to a government-recognised adoption centre in Puttur.

A press release issued here on Saturday stated that the baby was found at Manjeshwar in Kasaragod district in the custody of Jayaram, an employee of Corporation Bank, Kankanady branch, and his wife.

The release said Jayaram had admitted before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) — a statutory body — that he had bought the baby from one Gulabi for Rs. 22,000. The baby was traced following the arrest of Yashoda and Champa, employees of Lady Goschen Hospital, by the Venur police.

The CWC and Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda have issued the statement that Peri Janatha Colony residents and Hosangady gram panchayat members had complained to Mr. Gowda, who is also the Chairperson of the district anti-trafficking committee, that the two employees of the hospital were involved in child trafficking. Non-bailable warrants were issued against the hospital employees when they did not respond to the summons issued to them. The press release said that stringent action would be taken against the accused after investigation.

Asha Nayak, Chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee which is handling the case, said the Committee had recommended to the police to take action against the couple. “We will be conducting a parallel inquiry into the incident,” she said and added that as the biological mother was alive, giving the infant back to the couple or to an adoption agency was a “complicated” matter.

Superintendent of Police Abhishek Goyal said the police would consult legal experts before filing cases against the couple.

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