Rs. 80,000 was the price fixed for 25-day-old baby boy

The owner of a private hospital, her son and the receptionist were arrested on Thursday while they were trying to sell a 25-day-old baby boy for Rs. 80,000.

The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) busted the racket with the help of the city police.

Parveen, who runs Get Well, a multi-speciality hospital in Neelasandra, reportedly confessed to the police that she used to facilitate delivery for unmarried women and sell the babies. She also reportedly admitted to having sold at least four newborns earlier.

The baby rescued on Thursday has been shifted to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health and its condition is said to be stable.

The baby was rescued after a regional news channel tipped off the CWC about plans to sell it. The channel carried a sting operation by sending a woman in the guise of a prospective client to buy the baby.

The hospital owner, Dr. Parveen, who initially refused to sell the baby, however, collected contact details of the “buyer”. Later, she telephoned the buyer and called her for negotiations.

The channel on Wednesday night tipped off CWC officials, who sought the help of the jurisdictional Ashoknagar police to catch the culprits.

As per the plan, the “buyer” accompanied by a member of the CWC and a police personnel went to the hospital on Thursday. After the baby was handed over to the “buyer” and Rs. 80,000 paid, the police and CWC members stormed into the hospital.

Dr. Parveen, her son and the receptionist were taken into custody.

CWC chairperson Meena K. Jain and the police questioned the three and recorded their statements. Ms. Jain told journalists that according to Dr. Parveen, the baby was born on December 2 to an unmarried woman. No details were available about her in the hospital. “This might be the fourth or fifth baby which the doctor has traded. The hospital is functioning from 2004,” she said.

Yet to verify claims

During police interrogation, Dr. Parveen reportedly claimed that she gave away a baby free of cost to her neighbour Asim Bhai in 2004. She claimed that she sold a baby for around Rs. 10,000 in 2007. The police were yet to verify Dr. Parveen’s claims, Ms. Jain said.

Dr. Parveen has offered to help the authorities trace the mother of the baby that was rescued on Thursday, the CWC chairperson said, and added that this could be part of a “bigger racket”.