Mumbai Crime: Couple held for buying baby in 2014

The childless couple had paid Rs 1.90 lakh to the director of Nanded-based children’s home in 2014 and took custody of a newborn without following the adoption protocol

Officers from Tardeo police station yesterday arrested the director of a Nanded-based children’s home for selling a 10-day-old boy to a Mumbai couple in 2014. The Tardeo-based couple was arrested last week.

Acting on a tip-off, officers from Social Service Branch (SSB) visited the residence of Mahesh and Manvi Pawar at Navyojna Sadan near Diana Cinema on April 13 and asked them to furnish documents pertaining to the adoption. But the Pawars failed to do so, following which Mahesh was taken into custody. Manvi was arrested the next day.

While Mahesh is a technician, Manvi works as manager for a private firm. They have been married for the past 15 years.

Baby shopping
Speaking to mid-day, an officer from the Tardeo police station said the Pawars decided to adopt in 2014 after they failed to conceive a child for 13 years. It was Mahesh’s sister, Manjari Pawar, who suggested to the couple to adopt a child from the Sunita Gutte Shishugrih at Nanded. The officer added that Manjari made the proposal to the Pawars after meeting an unidentified man.

After enquiring, Mahesh, Manvi, Manjari and Manvi’s brother Deepak Salvi visited the children’s home in 2014 and met its 27-year-old director Satyashri Rameshrao Khade alias Satyashri Gutte.

During investigation, the Pawars told the police that they paid Satyashri R1.90 lakh for a 10-day-old boy and took his custody without following the protocol necessary for adoption. They even registered a fake address in Nanded.

All the five accused were booked under sections 370 (1) (exploitation of a trafficked person) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and Section 80 (punitive measures for adoption without following prescribed procedures) of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Cop speak
PSI Nitin Randive from Tardeo police station said, “Satyashri was brought from Nanded and was arrested on Tuesday. She was presented in the holiday court at Esplanade, which remanded her in police custody till April 27. The baby has been kept at the children’s home in Dongri for now.”

Another officer said Satyashri is a law student and was supposed to appear for her bar exam yesterday. Owing to the serious nature of her crime, she would not be allowed to appear for the rest of the papers.

Police have launched a manhunt to arrest the unidentified person who referred Manjiri to the children’s home in Nanded and also the gram panchayat officer who signed the fake birth certificate.

Police are also probing the existence of a child trafficking racket.

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