Four held in Odisha for ‘forcing’ couple to sell newborn to pay hospital bill of Rs 7,500
Police on Saturday arrested four people, including an ASHA worker and a nursing home staff, in Odisha’s coastal Kendrapara district, a day after a couple alleged they were forced to sell their newborn girl to clear hospital bill.
Nirakar Maharana of the district’s Rijhagarh village claimed that he was forced by the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) worker to take his pregnant wife to a private nursing home instead of a state-run district hospital for the delivery of the child on Tuesday.
His wife Gitanjali Maharana gave birth to the baby girl at the clinic the same night.
When they failed to clear the hospital bill of Rs 7,500, the ASHA worker allegedly coaxed them to sell the baby to a childless couple for Rs 12,000.
The couple on Friday lodged a police complaint over the incident.
The ASHA worker, however, claimed that the couple, who already have two daughters, voluntarily sold the baby as they were disappointed with the birth of a girl child.
Kendrapara SP Dayanidhi Gochhayat said prima facie police found involvement of the four persons in the sale of the child.
The police along with child welfare committee of Kendrapara district later rescued the child form a government pediatrics hospital in Cuttack. The couple who bought the child had admitted her into the hospital as she fell ill.