TIRUVANNAMALAI: After an inter-district child sale racket was busted recently, Tiruvannamalai district police are planning to dig deeper into the child trafficking issue as the ring of the racket is spread across Tiruvannamalai, Chennai, Erode and Thanjavur districts.
Special teams of the district police headed by DSP Thangaraman have arrested nine persons so far including the kingpin of the racket R Jothi, 60, of Ekangipuram, Aynavaram, Chennai. Investigations revealed that she was caught in a similar child trafficking case in 2018 by the Chennai City police. “Jothi had a previous case filed against her. She was arrested by the Pulianthope police in 2018 for trafficking a four year old child,” Thangaraman said.
Two other women of Chennai, M Kalaivani, 37, of Sivaji Nagar, Tondiarpet, and M Muniammal, 27, of Railway Colony, Korukkupet, have also been part of the trafficking gang.
Apart from the trio, the special squads of police also arrested ‘Thandu’ M Ezhumalai, 49, of Vandavasi, S Nandhini,28, of Sakthi Nagar, Ellapalayam, Erode, P Janaki, 35, of STM Colony, Gobichettipalayam, Erode, and S Nadhiya, 30, of Mariammancoil Street, Papanasam in Thanjavur district.
The parents of the trafficked baby- P Sarathkumar, 27, and Bhavani,29, of Thalapallam, Vandavasi-were held by the police as the probe revealed that they had sold the baby fully aware of the illegal activity.
All the nine accused were booked under Sections 417 (cheating), 370 (1) (2) (child trafficking), 420 (cheating), 494 (marrying again) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) r/w 81 (sale and procurement of child) of Juvenile Justice Act by the Vandavasi All Women Police, police officer said. He informed that they were produced before a local court. The male accused were remanded to judicial custody at the sub-jail in Vandavasi while women were remanded in Vellore Women’s Special Prison.
Baby sold for Rs 5 lakh
After buying the child for Rs 80,000 from the couple, ‘Thandu’ Ezhumalai had changed it hands before Janaki sold it for Rs 5 lakh to a Mumbai man. He was stated to have adopted the baby without following due procedures.The child sale racket came to light when the police inquired about a complaint lodged by Bhavani demanding action against her husband (both live-in partners) for marrying another woman.
Special probe team soon
The network of the child trafficking gang is believed to be wider with more people involved in the ring. If the police can get to the bottom of the racket, more skeletons will tumble out. “The network is believed to be wider. So, we are going to take Jothi into police custody for interrogations. Once it is completed, we can have vital information on the trafficking gang. We will hold a deeper probe,” Pawan Kumar Reddy, Tiruvannamalai SP, told Express. He stated that a new special team will be constituted to carry out the probe.