ROURKELA: They all are educated and from well-to-do families but greed for money drove them into the heinous crime of child trafficking primarily targeting those from vulnerable communities.
After arrest of five females and two males of the Marwadi community on child abduction charges recently, Rourkela police would be taking the accused into remand to speed up investigation and crack down on other members of the racket.
Making further revelations on Wednesday, Rourkela SP Mukesh K Bhamoo said the racket members were primarily targeting vulnerable and poor families having surplus or unwanted children. Modus operandi of the racket was to contact poor families and lure them with money to sell unwanted children with the impression that the latter would get good lives staying with childless couples, he said.
Avoiding the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), the racket members expanded their network to places like Delhi, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Apparently, a male child fetches around Rs 2 lakh and a female Rs 30,000 but price varies depending on appearance, colour and gender. It is being probed whether children sold by the racket have been kept with issueless families or used for other purposes, the SP said, adding that pictures of 25-30 children were found in mobile phones of the accused and some of them have been recovered. The SP said police found contact numbers of some health workers from the arrested persons mobiles and it is suspected they were also targeting babies of unwed mothers.
Police said, the CWC would also be involved to assist in the investigation. On Monday, Plant Site police had arrested the racket members, Seema Agarwal (45), Sunita Agarwal (50), Nita Agarwal (25), Asha Devi (38), Sheela Gupta (38), Nikhil Agarwal (25) and Sumit Agarwal (21).
However, racket kingpin Sangeeta Agarwal is still at large.