Andhra Pradesh

Two more arrested in child trafficking case in Visakhapatnam

For representational purpose only.

For representational purpose only.  

The city police on Thursday arrested two more persons, including a renowned doctor from another hospital, in connection with the child trafficking case of Universal Srushti Fertility & Research Centre for allegedly selling a newborn, after informing the mother that she gave birth to a still born baby.

The arrested were identified as Dr. Ch Padmaja, DGO of Padmaja Hospital, Seethammadhara, and N. Nooka Ratnam, a resident of Cheedikada mandal in Visakhapatnam district.

On July 26, the city police arrested Dr. Patchipala Namrata, managing director of Universal Srushti Hospital; K Venkata Lakshmi, B Annapurna, both ASHA workers from V. Madugula mandal; A Ramakrishna, son-in-law of Venkata Lakshmi; Dr Tirumala, staff at Universal Srushti Hospital; and L. Chandra Mohan, on charges of child trafficking. They allegedly sold a newborn baby boy to a couple from Kolkata.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Commissioner of Police Rajeev Kumar Meena said that after the Universal Srushti Hospital child trafficking case came to light, yet again on July 30, the police received a complaint from a woman, Ch. Venkata Lakshmi from Chodavaram. She stated that while she was pregnant, she visited a private hospital at Chodavaram for a medical check-up in November 2019, where she met Nooka Ratnam, who said she was a doctor from Universal Srushti Hospital in Visakhapatnam city and assured to perform the operation free of cost.

After believing in her, Venkata Lakshmi got admitted in Universal Srushti Hospital later was referred to Padmaja Hospital, where she delivered a baby on January 31, 2020. But Nooka Ratnam along with Ramakrishna, Dr Namrata and a few others, allegedly informed Ms. Venkata Lakshmi that she had given birth to a stillborn. Thereafter, Venkata Lakshmi was discharged from the hospital on February 3.

Police said that after the child trafficking case came to light, Venkata Lakshmi approached the police and lodged a complaint, suspecting that the hospital might have sold her child. After registering a case, the police carried out searches at Universal Srushti Hospital and also Padmaja Hospital.

Police investigation revealed that Dr. Padmaja had received the medical reports of Venkata Lakshmi from Universal Srushti Hospital through one doctor (whose role is yet to be established) on January 30, 2020, who informed her that Dr. Tirumala of Srushti hospital would be referring a pregnant woman for delivery at Padmaja Hospital.

The polcie chief said Ms. Venkata Lakshmi underwent C-section on January 31 at Padmaja Hospital, where the woman had given birth to an underweight baby girl. The infant girl was referred to Neo-Natal care at another hospital for incubation.

“However, the hospital staff informed Venkata Lakshmi that she had given birth to a stillborn. Dr. Padmaja then prepared the case sheet using the name of another woman to whom the baby was later allegedly sold. The doctor also prepared a birth form with her signature with the wrong names of father and mother of the girl and sent it to GVMC for registration of birth,” Mr Meena said.

The police said that prior to the delivery incident, the couple that received the baby had approached Dr Namrata and Dr. Tirumala of Srushti hospital as they were childless and wanted a baby through IVF. After failure in the attempts, the doctors handed over the baby.

“We are yet to ascertain how many babies they have sold so far. We will recover the baby girl and will produce before the child welfare committee to reunite her with her biological parents”, Mr. Meena added.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 11:45:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/two-more-arrested-in-child-trafficking-case-in-vizag/article32288852.ece

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