Interrogation of two accused in a baby trafficking racket at a nursing home in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior has revealed the involvement of more than 100 people, including government health workers and doctors, police said on Wednesday.
During interrogation, the two accused — TK Gupta and Arun Bhadoria — revealed that infant traffickers operating from Palash nursing home in the city used the accredited social health activists (ASHA) network of the health department to get details about pregnant women in various areas and then brought them to the nursing home under different pretexts, said Gwalior additional superintendent of police Kumar Prateek.
Police were able to extract crucial leads from the duo during interrogations that will be followed up and verified during the course of the investigation, he said.
“Both have admitted their involvement in the sale of newborn babies in five cases.”
More than 1,800 deliveries conducted over the past 3 to 4 months at the nursing home
Interrogations also revealed that more than 1,800 deliveries were conducted over the past three to four months at the nursing home, shocking police over the scale of the racket.
On Tuesday, the chief judicial magistrate’s court granted one day police remand for Bhadoria and Gupta.
Prateek further said more than a 100 people, including more than 80 ASHA workers, doctors, paramedic and middlemen, were involved in the ‘baby sale racket’.
Police will question those named by the accused, to find out the extent of their involvement and charges will be framed against them, he said, adding that police suspect the involvement more nursing homes in the city in the racket.
He further said legal action against four doctors who were on the panel of the nursing home, including Dr Sachin Shrivastava, Dr BM Dhinkar, Dr RK Verma and Dr Khan, more than 20 paramedics, including nurse Sunita, will be taken after seeking legal opinion.
Police said the money from the sale of babies — Rs 90,000 for baby boy and Rs 45,000 for baby girl — was distributed among Gupta and Bhadoria, consultant doctors and paramedics.
ASHA workers and district hospital employees indentified pregnant woman and brought them to the nursing home on the pretext of emergency and got the baby delivered there. Most of the deliveries were conducted by the nursing staff without the help of doctors.
Prateek said that police have booked four people, including Gupta and Bhadoria, Anupam from Lucknow and Rinki in Dabra in connection with the trafficking case under Sections 370, 372 and 373 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Juvenile Justice Act. He said further charges under Section 304 of the IPC ,will be slapped against Bhadoria and Gupta following the death of a baby girl.