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Six more arrested in child trafficking case

DNA tests yet to be conducted to identify biological mothers, say police

Police arrested six more persons for their alleged role in a child trafficking case at Universal Srushti Hospital in the city.

City police also found that the management of the hospital exchanged several newborns and cheated officials of Childline and Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

The accused have been identified as G. Jhansi (37), agent of Dr. Namratha, MD of Universal Srushti Hospital, V. Indhu Padma Bindhu (40), who works as a counsellor at the hospital, Ch. Kalyani (35), head nurse of the hospital, K. Venkata Ramana (47), supervisor, and K. Sujatha (36) and M Vasantha Kumari (46), both agents of Dr. Namratha.

The prime accused, Dr. Namratha, and the other accused A. Tirumala (33), duty doctor and L. Chandra Mohan (42), former PRO of Dr. Namratha, were already arrested.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (Zone I) Aishwarya Rastogi said that a woman Vanitha (24, name changed) of Madhurawada became pregnant in August 2019. Her husband was jailed in a crime case and she was in a deep financial crisis. Taking advantage of the situation, Jhansi assured her of getting her delivery done free of cost at Srushti Hospital.

Believing her, Vanitha underwent a C-section at the hospital and gave birth to a baby boy. Police said that at that time, the accused Jhansi and Dr. Namratha sold her son, a few days later, without her consent.

Police found that the accused admitted the baby to another hospital through Venkata Ramana. Some days later, a woman from V. Madugula, whose baby was sold to a couple based in Kolkata, complained to Childline officials against the hospital. Dr. Namratha handed over Vanitha’s baby to her through Childline and CWC on March 20.

Again, in the end of March, Vanitha approached the hospital and asked to return her baby. She also pleaded that she would return the money which she had taken from them. When the hospital authorities refused, she approached Childline officials. After pressure built up yet again, main accused Dr. Namratha contacted her old agents K. Sujatha and M. Vasantha Kumari to arrange some newborn baby. The agents sold a newborn baby, who was delivered at a hospital in Bobbili on April 2, 2020. Police said that the baby belongs to an unmarried woman, who became pregnant. On April 12, K. Sujatha brought that male baby to Srushti Hospital and handed over the baby to head nurse Kalyani. After raising the baby for four days, on April 16, former PRO L. Chandra Mohan handed over that male baby to Vanitha through Childline.

Mr. Rastogi said that the police are yet to examine other technical data to prove the guilt of anesthaetists, paediatricians and embryologists in these cases and DNA tests yet to be conducted, with the permission of court, to identify the biological mothers.

It may be recalled that Dr. Namratha has spread her network in rural areas and developed agents, who conspired together to target egg donors, destitute pregnant women and undwed pregnancies to procure babies for their trafficking. The doctor’s modus operandi is to sell the babies to rich families who are childless, police alleged.

In all, the police arrested 14 persons pertaining to the child trafficking case, including Dr. Ch. Padmaja of Padmaja Hospitals and Dr. Namratha of Srushti Hospitals.

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