Cops stumble upon baby-selling racket
Though the baby abducted from Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital over two months back is yet to be found, investigations in the case have led the Crime Branch to a quack involved in selling newborn infants. The accused, who used to run a clinic at Antop Hill, has been arrested.
On October 24, a baby boy born to Jasmine Naik was stolen from Wadia Hospital. Several officials of the Crime Branch and local police were pressed into service in the case. During investigations, the Crime Branch drew up, and started scrutinising, a list of childless couples trying to conceive, based on inputs from different hospitals. After a tip-off, the cops finally zeroed in on a couple from Vijay Nagar in Wadala, Altaf Shaikh (45) and Mehrunisan (42). The couple told the police that they had adopted a baby boy, who was given to them by a doctor in Antop Hill. They claimed the doctor did not give them any documents.
“As there is a lot of pressure on us to solve the Wadia hospital case, we were trying our best to unearth rackets in which babies were being stolen and sold. We got a tip-off that Shaikh had ‘purchased’ a boy. Since the infant stolen from Wadia was also a boy, we picked up Shaikh and put him through intense interrogations,” said Babasaheb Tupe, police inspector of Unit IV of the Mumbai Crime Branch.
During interrogation, Shaikh confessed that he had purchased the baby, and that a doctor running a clinic in Antop Hill had sold it to him. The police rushed a team to Harishchandra Bid alias Harish Nishad’s clinic at Antop Hill. He was then interrogated.
“While interrogating him we realised that his certificates were fake. We were shocked to learn that he had just completed higher secondary education, after which he dropped out of school,” said Tupe. The police have arrested Bid, but the offciers have not yet been able to find out from where he got the infant.
“The family has said that they bought the boy 10 months back from the doctor, while Jasmine Naik’s baby was stolen from Wadia hospital in October. So this is not the same baby. The quack will be in our custody till January 7,” said Tupe. The police have not arrested the couple, which paid Rs 12,000 to the doctor for the baby and was to pay another Rs 88,000. The accused had promised to provide the couple with all legal documents before taking the remaining amount.
The wadia case
An unidentified woman stole Jasmine Naik’s baby boy from Wadia hospital on October 24. Following the incident, the authorities at each and every hospital in the city beefed up their security systems and posted guards outside wards. Meanwhile, the Wadia hospital staff installed CCTV cameras on their premises. With wide coverage of the incident in the media, a team of local Crime Branch officials was put on the job to investigate the case.