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Toddler sold for Rs 1L, 4 held


NEW DELHI: The arrest of three women and a man for selling a four-month-old infant for Rs 1 lakh has once again highlighted the rampant trafficking of children in the city. The accused were picked up from Virat Cinema at Dakshinpuri in south Delhi when they had come to sell the male child.  “The accused have been identified as Chandra Devi (64), Heera Devi (42), Pooja Devi (22) and Neeraj Mahalwal (22); Neeraj is the father of the child. We received a tip-off about Chandra looking for a buyer for the infant. We sent a decoy – a woman constable – to negotiate a deal. She was told that the child was with another woman, who demanded Rs 1 lakh. Our decoy paid Rs 10,000 as advance,” said additional DCP (crime) Sanjay Bhatia.

Police then got in touch with NGO Shakti Vahini, and together they set a trap after which the accused were arrested.  During investigations, it was revealed that a West Bengal woman was the real mother of the child.  “It was Neeraj, who had insisted that the child be sold. After his arrest, Neeraj told us that he had come in contact with a woman about 18 months ago and had started living with her in Dakshinpuri. She became pregnant and delivered a child in Safdarjung Hospital last October. Neeraj wanted to abandon her and get rid of the child,” said ACP K K Sharma of Special Operations Squad. Following an order by the Lajpat Nagar Child Welfare Committee,the child had been sent to Upvan, an NGO in Safdarjang Enclave.

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