A human-trafficking gang that was busted by Ludhiana police on October 19 had its presence in all parts of Punjab, claim police officials.
The Crime Investigation Agency staff of Ludhiana police had busted the gang on October 19 with the arrest of two men and as many women for allegedly kidnapping and selling a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, who was kidnapped from EWS Colony.
On tip-offs by these four, police have so far arrested 16 persons, including the alleged kingpins Luxmi and Anju. Police have claimed that the accused had sold at least four children in different parts of the state to childless couples.
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) (crime) Gurbans Singh Bains said the gang had been active in all districts of Punjab, including Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Hoshiarpur.
“The gang members have been saying that they played the mediator's role in children's adoption with the consent of their biological parents. We don't believe them,” he said.
Police are yet to arrest some others involved in the racket. “Usha, a resident of Amritsar, is among those who we are trying to track down,” he said.
The ACP said the accused used to send the children to another district soon after their kidnapping to avoid detection by police and parents of the children. “We are trying to trace the children that had been kidnapped and sold by the gang,” he said. “The gang abducted children under the age of five by luring them with sweets and chocolates.” The ACP said they hoped to make more arrests and reach the bottom of the racket.