Baby boy sold for Rs 8 lakh in deal struck on Facebook

The Statesman

CHANDIGARH, 24 APRIL: Making use of popular social networking site Facebook, a baby boy was sold to a Delhi businessman by a child trafficking gang in a Punjab district for Rs 8 lakh.

But the child was rescued from Delhi after his mother, Noorie, complained to police. This was after Noorie became suspicious of her father, Feroze Khan, who had told her that the child, delivered on 10 April at a private hospital in Ludhiana, was dead.

Ludhiana police have arrested Noorie’s father along with his accomplice Irfan who first sold the child to a nurse and her male friend, working in the same hospital, for Rs 45,000. The latter two then sold the child to another hospital employee identified as Gurpreet Singh for Rs 3.5 lakh.

Singh then offered to sell the baby to a Delhi businessman and posted the pictures of the baby for the purpose. The businessman, identified as Amit Kumar, liked the baby and paid Rs 8 lakh to Singh after he received the baby in Delhi.

The baby’s mother had complained to police on 13 April after her father went missing and she could not get reliable answers from the nurse about her child.

According to the police, Noorie was deserted by her husband last year but she was pregnant when the couple separated. When her father, Khan, came to know of her pregnancy, he asked her to abort the child as he wanted her to re-marry.

But since the doctors advised against medical termination of the pregnancy in its last stages, Khan decided to sell off the child after delivery as advised by Irfan, police said.

Four persons including the baby’s maternal grandfather Khan, his accomplice Irfan, nurse Sunita and another employee of the private hospital have been arrested. A case has also been registered against the buyer, Amit. The child has been handed over to his mother.

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