In perhaps a first-of-its-kind case, a new born baby boy was sold to a Delhi-based businessman for Rs 8 lakh through a deal struck on the social networking site Facebook.
The incident came to light when Noorie, mother of the baby, lodged a complaint with the police that the child, born on April 3, went missing from the nursing home where she delivered the baby.
The child was allegedly abducted by Noorie's father Feroze Khan on April 10 and sold off with the help of Sunita, a nurse and Gurpreet Singh, another employee of the same nursing home, police said.
Gurpreet Singh is alleged to have shown the picture of the baby on the internet before finalising the deal with the Delhi-based businessman for Rs 8 lakh.
The police said that during the preliminary investigations it was revealed by Feroze Khan that since Noorie had been deserted by her husband, he (Khan) wanted to arrange her second marriage.
"So Khan thought he should get rid off the child of her daughter from her first husband by selling him off," Ludhiana Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh said.
Four persons, including the baby's maternal grandfather Feroze Khan, his accomplice Irfan, nurse Sunita and another employee of a private nursing home, have been arrested, Singh said.
The police have also booked Amit Kumar of Delhi, the 'buyer' of the child and raided his residence in the national capital from where the child was recovered and later handed over to his mother, he added.