The police at Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus (CMBT) arrested two women on Sunday on charges of selling a newborn baby and using it for begging at the terminus.

According to police, on Saturday night, K. Muniammal (24), wife of Karuppiah, a resident of Kamarajar Salai in Moolakadai, was found begging at the bus terminus. She had been spotted on the premises on previous occasions, and the police had removed her from there.

On Saturday, she was found with a newborn baby. “She was telling commuters she wanted to buy milk for the baby. Some commuters gave her money, but a few of them alerted the police booth on the terminus’ premises,” said a police officer.

Sub-inspectors P. Gangan, Mayillamal and Nadhiya questioned Muniammal about the child but received ambiguous answers. “Upon being questioned further, she confessed to having taken the child from a woman at Stanley hospital earlier this month,” said the police officer.

The police team took her to her house in Moolakadai and she produced a certificate from a Government public health centre in Manali.

“The doctor there said the baby was born on October 29 and was very weak. Hence, mother and child had been sent to Stanley hospital for further treatment,” said a source.

Based on the address given by the hospital, the police tracked down the child’s mother, Selvi (30), a widow.

“During interrogation, she said she had a 12-year old daughter and that her husband had died a few years back. She had had an affair at her workplace and become pregnant. Following her delivery, she was not willing to take the child home,” said the source.

On November 6, Muniammal’s sister Kalaiselvi’s son was admitted to Stanley hospital. “Selvi and Muniammal met in the general ward and as they were from the same community, they became friends. Selvi had asked Muniammal to take the baby with her,” said the source.

Muniammal gave Selvi Rs. 100 for expenses on food. “Selvi did not know that Muniammal was a beggar and left the hospital,” said the source.

Srinivasan, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Koyambedu, said they always kept a watch for suspicious persons at the bus terminus.

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