Officials say the two women used to work with the alleged kingpin, Ratna Ubale, and bought babies from parents and single mothers headed for an abortion; police have also recovered photographs of babies sold by the gang from the accused
Exactly a week after arresting the kingpin in the baby-selling racket exposed by mid-day in 2012, the Central Line police in Ulhasnagar have managed another major breakthrough in the case by arresting two of her key accomplices. Photographs of babies allegedly sold by the gang have also been recovered from the women.
The two women, who were arrested on Tuesday, allegedly worked with the racket’s kingpin, Ratna Ubale, and looked for parents or single mothers at government hospitals who were planning to get an abortion and would be open to the idea of selling their child.
mid-day’s reports, on December 26, 2014
They would offer the parents money and sell the children to doctors, who would arrange for birth certificates and other documents before selling them to parents seeking babies. “We have arrested Sunanda More and Babita Hevre. The women would look for parents who did not want their child, and were planning to go in for abortions, and offer them money.
January 16, on the arrests of the doctors and Ratna Ubale
After the child’s birth, they would sell it to doctors. The women were produced in court and remanded in police custody,” said an official from Central Line police station.
String of arrests
mid-day had exposed the baby-selling racket by conducting a sting in 2012 and, in December 2014, the police had arrested Dr Manlik Joshi of Joshi Nursing Home in Dharavi and Dr Digna Sharma of Sai Clinic in Kandivli’s Charkop area and booked them under Section 370 (buying or disposing of any person as slave) and 34 (Common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Also read: Rogue doctors arrested for selling babies
An Ulhasnagar-based couple, Sunita and Mukesh Lahore, who had allegedly sold their baby to the gang for R50,000 had also been arrested. Last Tuesday, they had managed to arrest the alleged kingpin, Ratna Ubale.
Police officials said that Ubale and the two women on the one hand and the doctors on the other are calling each other the mastermind of the racket.
They said the racket had been going on for several years and, as reported by mid-day, the kids were sold as commodities with parents getting to choose them after looking at their photos on Whatsapp or ‘inspecting’ them personally. They said more arrests are likely.
Police inspector Prashad Pandhare of Central Line police station said, “We are investigating the matter further. People should be aware of such rackets and if anyone has the slightest information in the case, they should come to the police station directly and help us.”