A poverty-stricken single mother allegedly sold her newborn son for Rs 6,500 to a childless couple to pay her medical bill at a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh. But the mother and child were united within 24 hours; two persons were also arrested.
“My financial position is really bad,” a distraught looking Rajitha, (pic) who could not afford the Rs 2,000 hospital bill, said from her bed at the government hospital in Kothagudem in Khammam district on Tuesday.
Ranjitha, 20, delivered the baby on February 20 and Ishwar, an auto-driver, bought the baby on Monday at the hospital, police said.
Both Ishwar and Sunitha, Ranjitha’s aunt and the mediator in the baby’s ‘sale’ have been arrested, Khammam DSP Mahesh Bhagwat said.
“The baby has been reunited with the mother. We have arrested two persons and registered a case for selling, purchasing and abandoning the newly born baby,” Bhagawat said.
Rajitha, who was abandoned by her husband, moved in with her aunt Sunitha in Kothagudem for the delivery, he said. After the baby boy was born, Sunitha advised her to sell the baby and also arranged for a buyer, Bhagwat said. Adding “Rajitha is also responsible for selling the baby. We will also initiate action against her once she and the baby fully recover”.
Police said they would take action against the hospital, which already faces an inquiry to find out if the woman had bribed any of the doctors.
“Buying and selling a baby is an offence, so we will be booking cases,” Kothagudem revenue division officer P Rajaram said.
The incident occurred in the parliamentary constituency of Union minister of state for women and child development Renuka Chowdhury. “At least, she is safe and at least the child is not dead and not killed. I think they are the most important things that we need to look at,” Chowdhury said.