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Arrest of doctor from Kolhapur who sold babies hints at bigger trafficking racket

Members of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) raided the hospital where Dr Patil worked. According to police officials, Dr Patil was allegedly involved in trafficking babies of women and girls who did not or could not keep the children after birth.  

pune Updated: Feb 08, 2018 23:47 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
doctor,Kolhapur,sold babies
Patil was arrested on Tuesday, hours after selling a day-old baby, whose mother was a 17-year-old girl, to a couple from Chhattisgarh.(Getty Images/Vetta)

Two days after a homoeopathic doctor (Dr Arun Patil) from Ichalkaranji was arrested for trafficking babies, an official from the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) said that they have information about two more children being sold by Dr Arun Patil, hinting that there could be bigger racket involved in the trafficking of children.

Members of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) raided the hospital where Dr Patil worked. According to police officials, Dr Patil was allegedly involved in trafficking babies of women and girls who did not or could not keep the children after birth.

Patil was arrested on Tuesday, hours after selling a day-old baby, whose mother was a 17-year-old girl, to a couple from Chhattisgarh. “This is not the first case as we have found two more instances in which Dr Patil has given babies to other people. One of the recipient, as per our information, is a doctor based in Mumbai,” said Priya Chorge, chairman, CWC (Kolhapur).

Chorge said it was the Mumbai doctor who recommended the Chhattisgarh couple to Dr Patil for a child. “We are now looking for the third child. The police will now bring them back and hand the children over to the government,” said Chorge.

A case under Sections 370 (trafficking of persons), 176 (omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it) and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 75 (cruelty to child), 80 (Punitive measures for adoption without following prescribed procedure), 81 (Sale and procurement of children for any purpose) of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 was registered against Dr Patil, his wife and the Chhattisgarh couple who bought the baby at the Shivajinagar police station of Ichalkaranji. Dr Patil was remanded in seven days police custody on Wednesday.

The complaint in the case was filed by Sagar Namdev Date, member of DCPU of Kolhapur. Date, along with Ramchandra Reddy and Shivanand Dumbal of CARA, raided the hospital where Dr Patil practiced and took him to the police. The raid was reportedly carried out based on an anonymous letter written to the office of Menaka Gandhi, Union minister for women and child development.Chorge said that CARA members had inspected adoption centres in the area one month before the raid but local authorities were informed only a day before the raid.

The case is being investigated by assistant police inspector (API) Pradnya Chavan of Shivajinagar police station of Ichalkaranji.

"We have found a joint bank account in the name of the mother of the child and Dr Patil. It still has the ₹2 lakh paid for the child. We are investigating the matter further," said API Chavan. "He is a doctor of homoeopathy and performed the delivery himself. Gynaecologists helped him during the months of pregnancy. His wife also works in the same hospital. We are verifying whether a person with his qualification is allowed to perform a delivery," she added.

The 17-year-old girl from Sangli had approached the doctor after she became pregnant with her boyfriend's child. She is a daughter of poor farmer parents and when the doctor offered ₹2 lakh for the child, she accepted. "She was four months pregnant when she approached the doctor. She could not undergo abortion, so he suggested this option to her," said API Chavan.While the girl is currently at her maternal uncle’s residence, the police are looking for the baby.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 23:46 IST