MADURAI: A day after the alleged child trafficking incidents at an NGO-run shelter, Idhayam Trust, came to light, the city police arrested seven persons, including two mediators, on Thursday. The suspects have been identified as the trust coordinator R Kalaivani (32) of Parasurampatti, mediators- Selvi (42) of Chokanathapuram in Madurai and Raja (38) of Padamathur in Sivaganga and the couples who adopted the two children -- M Sahubar Sadiq (38) and his wife Anishrani (36) of Annai Sathiya Nagar in Kalmedu and G Kannan (50) and his wife Bhavani (45) of Ismayilpuram 4th Street.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) P Thangadurai formed teams to nab the two prime suspects of the case- Chief Executive Director GR Sivakumar of the trust and his associate Matharsha - who are on the run.
Following an inquiry initiated by Collector Dr S Aneesh Sekhar into a clip that appeared on social media on Tuesday alleging that one-year-old boy, Manickam, died due to Covid-19 and was subsequently buried at Thatheneri crematorium, the officials found out to that the boy was indeed alive and was given for adoption by the NGO authorities.
Subsequent inquiry revealed that another child, two-year-old girl Dhanam was also missing from the home. The police said the boy’s mother, Ishwarya, was made to believe that her child had succumbed to Covid. “The NGO authorities managed to convince the girl’s mother, Sridevi, that her daughter was taken for treatment. The girl’s mother, a native of Karnataka, is having language issues and the suspects made use of that barrier. The children were rescued on Wednesday night and were handed over to the biological mothers, but the children were more attached with to their foster parents,” they said.
Sources said that the girl child was having skin issues and it was treated during her stay in the foster parents house. “They even conducted an adoption ceremony in their house,” they said. Kannan’s sibling is a friend of Raja and it was this relationship that paved the way for the couple to adopt the child. On the other hand, Selvi is known to Shahubar Sadiq.
The exact amount involved in the illegal trafficking is not clear but the money was allegedly given to the trust under a donation tag. The police during their preliminary inquiry have identified that Sivakumar owned two accounts in a bank - one in the name of Idhayam Trust and another in his name. “He had taken money from the trust account on June 29,” they added.
None of the arrested persons was having any previous case. “Records are being verified to check whether Sivakumar and his associate Matharsha were having any cases. Selvi was a volunteer in Red Cross Society, Raja owns a rice store, Kannan owns a jewelry shop and Sadiq is a partner in an eversilver manufacturing factory. An official from the collectorate said that the two children and their parents are under care at Government Rajaji Hospital.” Other inmates of the trust were shifted to other homes. “The trust, functioning in a corporation building in Reserve Line was sealed by the officials,” he said.
Child Welfare Committee member B Pandiarajan said that generally the mediators provoke the childless couple to buy children in illegal ways for profit. “CWC and CARA are the two bodies through which you can adopt a child,” he said. The police in association with other government departments will soon start conducting inspections at the trust, added police sources.
Tallakulam police have altered the case from child missing to 420, 468, 471 of IPC sections and 80 and 81 of JJ (POA) Act. The seven suspects were produced before the judicial magistrate and later remanded in prison.
No track record of arrested persons
None of the arrested persons have any previous case. “Records are being verified to check whether Sivakumar and his associate Matharsha were having any cases,” said police