Two women were arrested on Monday, after one of them tried to sell her newborn son for Rs 50,000 at Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad.
The incident came to light after locals alerted the Chilakalguda police. Jyothi, the mother who tried to "sell" the baby, and Malandi (48) the woman who was "buying" the baby were taken into custody.
Thirty-year-old Jyothi got married to Gopi, a resident of Vijayawada, two years ago. She was unaware that Gopi was already married and that his wife lived in Vijayawada.
When Gopi found out about Jyothi's pregnancy, he left her and went back to his first wife. Since then Jyothi has been begging in the streets near the Secunderabad railway station.
However, a week ago, she met Malandi and her mother Rizwana, residents of Nizamabad, who were visiting the city. While they were shopping in the streets of Secunderabad, they met Jyothi.
â€śThey first asked her not to beg in this condition. But when Jyothi told them her story, they agreed to buy the child as Malandi did not have any child of her own. She gave Jyothi a contact number,â€ť said Veera Babu, sub-inspector in Chilakalguda police station.
On Friday, when Jyothi gave birth to a baby boy in Gandhi Hospital, she informed Malandi and Rizwana. However, before she could "sell" the baby on Monday, the police were alerted by suspicious local people who'd heard the two parties discussing money.
â€śNow the child and the mother are in our custody, and we have taken Malandi also into custody,â€ť Veera Babu said.
â€śThe mother cannot be separated from the child because he needs her. The mother should be given proper counselling and she should be shifted safely to a women's care hostel along with the baby. However, selling and purchasing of children is a crime and the purchaser should be punished,â€ť Achyuta Rao, a child rights activist said.
A similar incident happened in November, when a family had planned to sell a 4-day-old baby girl for Rs.20,000, as she was the third girl child in the family.
"Since this is the third baby girl, there is no reason to celebrate," the grandmother had told NDTV.
However, the baby girlâ€™s aunt lodged a complaint and the deal was cancelled.
The parents, Krishna and Sujatha, were given counselling.
Earlier this year, a day-old male baby was sold to strangers with the help of the staff of Aditya Hospital, Boggulkunta, Hyderabad. The 17-year-old girl from BDL Bhanur village, Medak, had delivered the child and her parents were unwilling to accept the child as the girl was unmarried.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that Renuka, one of the staff members, paid the family Rs 40,000 as advance and had agreed to pay Rs 60,000 more for the baby as she planned to give the child to her childless brother.