In an incident that showcases gender discrimination in society, a 45-year-old man from Rajgarh town about 140km from Bhopal, purchased a newborn male child just because he has three daughters and no son.
The man, Rajesh Jamindar, a restaurant owner, has been arrested and the male child was recovered from him.
Police interrogation has revealed that Jamindar paid Rs 32,000 to some unknown person in Katni district to get the child, indicating a human trafficking racket at play.
The 'deal' was reportedly made by the brother-in-law of a cousin of Jamindar.
The accused has three daughters, youngest of whom is 10 years old, police said.
"Our team has left for Katni and we are certainly looking into the human trafficking angle," superintendent of police of Rajgarh, Sushant Saxena told HT.
The SP said that the accused Jamindar had confessed about paying the sum to get the child. The accused has told the police that all his relatives knew about his longing for a male child and recently, the brother-in-law of his cousin asked him to come to Katni if he wanted a child. He was then handed over the baby in lieu of the money.
The child, six-day-old now, has been placed in the special newborn care unit (SNCU) of the Rajgarh district hospital and the a child welfare officer as well as a woman NGO member have been deputed to take care of the child, Rajgarh district collector Anand Sharma said while talking to HT.
The collector said that the state minister for women and child development Maya Singh also took interest in the case and directed proper action.
The minister, through an official statement, has appealed to citizens to inform about any such suspicious activities to authorities, if they happen to notice it.
Sharma said that the matter was quite sensitive as it involved angles of possible human trafficking and also the social issue of gender discrimination and longing for male child. "We are taking into account all the points while handling the case," he said. The collector said that all medical and other help would be provided to the child and all measures including use of DNA testing would be initiated to trace the parents of the child.