The Karnataka Police on Tuesday booked a government doctor, two nurses and a woman in Chikkamagaluru for allegedly intimidating a mother and selling her newborn child for Rs 55,000. The Koppa Police booked Balakrishna, the chief gynecologist at the MSDM Government Hospital after the hospital administrator filed a complaint stating that he and two nurses Reshma and Shobha allegedly manipulated the hospital registry and had not registered the birth of the girl child at the hospital. She said that a probe by the Child Rights and Welfare Committee had found that Balakrishna and the two nurses allegedly sold the newborn girl to a woman named Prema from Sringeri for Rs 55,000.
On the night of March 14, 20-year-old Kalpana, a resident of Shivamoggaâ€™s Teerthahalli was admitted to the MSDM Government Hospital after she went into labour. Kalpana was initially taken to the government hospital in Teerthahalli. With no attending doctor present, the family brought her to the hospital at Koppa in Chikkamagaluru. The chief administrator of the MSDM Government Hospital, Dr Ganavi BS, said that Kalpana had conceived the child when she was unmarried. Dr Balakrishna, who was the attending gynecologist at the time of the babyâ€™s birth, allegedly threatened Kalpana that the police would arrest her since she was an unmarried woman who had conceived a child.
â€śThe woman is not well educated and the doctor threatened to get a police case registered against her. He told her that she was not capable of taking care of the baby and that she should leave the newborn girl in the hospital. This was one of the findings in the probe conducted by the Child Rights and Welfare Committee (CRWC),â€ť Dr Ganavi said.
Watch: Chikkamagaluru hospital administrator speaks about the crime
Kalpana was in the hospital for six days as Dr Balakrishna allegedly refused to discharge her. He allegedly informed Kalpana that a person would buy the baby for which she would be compensated Rs 5,000. Dr Balakrishna is believed to have sold the baby for Rs 55,000. He gave Kalpana Rs 5,000 and allegedly retained the remainder of the cash.
The Koppa Police said that Dr Balakrishna enlisted the help of nurses Shobha and Reshma to manipulate the hospitalâ€™s registry. When Kalpana was admitted to the hospital, the nurses had not entered her admission in the hospitalâ€™s registry. However, on March 20 this year, the day the baby girl was allegedly sold, an entry was made in the registry that a woman named Prema gave birth to a girl child. The CRWCâ€™s probe revealed that Prema was in possession of Kalpanaâ€™s child. She had given a statement alleging that Dr Balakrishna had told her she would be able to get a child without the hassle of going through the adoption process, if she paid him Rs 55,000.
â€śThe CRWC came to know of the incident when the mother (Kalpana) was taken to Ujjwala NGO as she had become very depressed since she was forced to give away her baby. Ujjwala approached the CRWC after which a probe was undertaken,â€ť the Koppa Police said.
The CRWC submitted its report to the hospital in Koppa and directed Dr Ganavi to register a complaint with the police. The Koppa Police registered an FIR against the four accused persons -- Dr Balakrishna, nurses Shobha and Reshma, and the buyer Prema from Sringer under sections 370 (punishment for buying or selling a person), 465 (punishment for forgery), 466 (forgery of public register), 109 (pursuance of conspiracy by administrators), 197 (signing a false certificate), 114 (abetment to an offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention of the Indian Penal Code. They have also been booked under the relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice Act.
On Tuesday the Koppa Police formed teams to track Balakrishna, Shobha and Reshma, who have absconded. The police have allowed Prema to stay in home quarantine as her husband tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The baby, who is now nine-months old, has been housed at the Chikkamagaluru Balamandira. â€śWe will produce the baby and the mother in front of the CRWC and the magistrate. The magistrate has to order the handover of the child,â€ť the Koppa Police said.