Child trafficking racket busted in Surat, 3 held
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Three persons including a woman were arrested on Friday for their alleged role in purchasing a one-and-half-year-old baby girl from a couple, who were working as labourers in Surat, police said.
Hasmukh Solanki (33), a resident of Mumbai, Mansukh Rathod (36) a resident of Surat and Shilpa Patel (41), a resident of Vadodara were arrested from Shimla Hotel at Surat Railway station.
During interrogation, the trio confessed that they had purchased the baby for
Rs 10,000 from a couple identified as Mahesh and Surji Chaudhan, residents of Mahidhaprura. Mahesh, who hails from Vadodara has three daughters of whom the youngest is the one-and-half-year-old baby girl, police said.
"Shilpa and Hasmukh identified themselves as a couple to Mahesh and told him that they were childless and wanted to purchase his youngest daughter. After purchasing the minor they wanted to send the baby to Mumbai and re-sell her to some other party at higher rates," Surat Crime branch police inspector N P Gohil said.
Manju Karya, who runs an organization for girls called Ashapura Maa Charitable Trust in Mumbai, learnt about child trafficking carried out in Surat and informed Surat crime branch officials a few days ago about three persons including a woman involved in the racket. Acting on the complaint, raids were carried out at different guest houses near the Surat Railway station from where the trio was captured with the baby.
Inspector Gohil said, "We are yet to interrogate them properly, but we suspect that a well-established child trafficking interstate network might be involved in this case. Further investigations are in progress and the Mumbai police is helping us in this regard."
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