Visakhapatnam

Six persons, including 2 doctors, arrested in child trafficking case

Six persons, including two doctors and two ASHA workers, were arrested by the city police on Sunday, on the charge of child trafficking. The gang sold a newborn baby boy, born to a woman from the rural areas of the district, to a couple in Kolkata.

The arrested have been identified as Patchipala Namratha, MD of Universal Srushti Hospital, Zilla Parishad area, in the city, K.Venkata Lakshmi and B. Annapurna, both ASHA workers from V. Madugula mandal, A. Ramakrishna, son-in-law of Venkata Lakshmi, Dr. Tirumala, working at Universal Srushti Hospital, and L. Chandra Mohan. The two receivers have also been identified.

Addressing a media conference here on Sunday, Police Commissioner R.K. Meena said that a widow from V. Madugula mandal had an extramarital affair with her paramour and she became pregnant. Ramakrishna who allegedly works as an agent for Dr. Namratha, came to know about the unwanted pregnancy and informed the doctor.

Mr. Meena said that Dr. Namratja took advantage of the poverty of the woman and promised to help her.. After taking the woman to her hospital, Dr. Namrata had performed surgery in March.

The woman gave birth to a baby boy. Later, the doctor along with her associates sold the boy to a couple in Kolkata.

A few days later, an anganwadi teacher from V Madugula, G Sarojini, who was aware of the pregnancy of the woman, questioned the woman about the baby. When the woman did not give proper replies, she suspected something fishy and alerted the ICDS and Childline officials on March 20.

After coming to know that the Childline personnel were probing into the matter, the doctor’s associate Chandra Mohan brought the boy from Kolkata and handed her over to Childline. The boy has been under safe custody of Sishu Gruha in Visakhapatnam, police said.

Mr. Meena said that the police started investigating into the case based on a complaint from the mother of the baby. In their investigation, they found that Dr Namratha has been running a hospital in the name of Srushti Test Tube Baby Centre and changed the name of the hospital. After getting caught in two criminal cases at various places in Andhra Pradesh, she changed the name of the hospital as Universal Srushti Fertility and Research Centre in the year 2018. The doctor has also opened branches in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata.

“Dr Namratha used to conduct medical camps with her teams in rural areas of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam and also Odisha to identify poor women and those who wanted to terminate their pregnancies, with the help of a few local agents. The doctor also used to target egg donors and destitute pregnant women to procure babies for trafficking,” the Police Commissioner said.

After procuring such babies, Dr. Namrata used to sell them to rich childless families through her agents. She also generated the particulars of those babies by impersonating the parents and forwarded them to the GVMC authorities to obtain fake birth certificates. In this case, also, the baby boy was named as Siyan Roy, he added.

Police arrested Dr. Namratha in Karanataka and her associates at various places in Visakhapatnam district. The accused allegedly confessed to their crimes and were being produced in court.

Mr. Meena said that the police are investigating the case from various angles.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 2:35:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/six-persons-including-2-doctors-arrested-in-child-trafficking-case/article32198879.ece

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