Investigation into the sale of a baby boy by his mother in Odisha's Jajpur district has revealed curious details - the money was used to buy a mobile phone and a pair of jeans among other things.
"Rakhi Patra of Mundamala village who sold her 17 month-old son for Rs. 5000 purchased a new mobile phone, a pair of jeans, few new tops (to go with the jeans) and memory cards for her mobile with the money," Jajpur superintendent of police Deepak Kumar said on Wednesday.
The investigations were conducted when a division bench of Orissa high court took suo moto cognisance of media reports on the sale and directed the police to recover the baby and hand him over to his mother.
Rejecting the mother's claim that she sold the child to meet the legal expenses of her jailed husband, Kumar said her new acquisitions were evidence of the fact that she did not sell her baby boy due to poverty.
“She has confessed before us that she had purchased all these items from the money out of the sale of her baby for Rs. 5000,” he said adding the goods were seized from her.
The woman refused to take back her son after police handed her the boy after recovering him from Cuttack on Tuesday. “We had handed over the baby but to our utter dismay, the mother refused to take him to her custody in the presence of the general public. Later, we handed him over to Child Welfare Committee.”
Rakhi, who is 20 years old and a daily wage earner had in association with a rickshaw puller sold her son to Babula Behera on September 17 in Cuttack.
Police rescued the baby boy from Nuapatana village on Tuesday following the order of high court division bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B K Mishra on Friday.