Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Dehli: Children SOLD for Adoption

NEW DELHI: The anti-extortion cell of the crime branch of Delhi Police on Monday claimed to have blown the lid off an adoption racket in the capital with the arrest of four persons, including a doctor and two women, and the rescue of an 11-day-old girl and an eight-month-old boy.

The gang allegedly used to prepare forged documents to show that the woman who bought the child had delivered the baby. The two accused women were running NGOs in the city and allegedly indulged in selling infants to couples. "The gang used to charge around Rs 1.8 lakh for a child out of which Rs 30,000 were given to the biological parents," Ashok Chand, deputy commissioner of police (crime), said.

Sources said the gang used to procure young children from West Bengal, Orissa, Punjab and Jharkhand. "We have informed the cops in West Bengal to trace certain people who had allegedly bought or sold children to this gang. We have taken the accused on police remand and are investigating the case,'' said a senior officer.

Rakesh Senger, national secretary, Bachhpan Bachao Andolan said that they were first tipped about this racket by a father whose son went missing last year. "The nine-year-old boy was found by the father near Khayala. When we sent a decoy customer to these NGOs, we found that we could buy children if we quoted a high price,'' said Sengar.

Sources claimed the gang's role in supporting begging and even child prostitution was being probed. Pawan Sharma (38), Ranjeeta Bhasin (48), Shobha Gupta and Dr Atul Kumar were arrested following investigations into a tip-off. Bhasin has been running two NGOs - Nav Roshini Chetna Mahilla Samiti and Nav Jyoti Anathalaya - in Raghubir Nagar near Khayala since 1998. She told police that ten days ago she gave an infant girl to Gupta. Gupta was apprehended from Dwarka. She too was running an NGO 'Child Care' in Vashistha Park since 2004.

"She told us that one Anupama Lal introduced her to a young woman who wanted a child. Gupta told her that she could arrange a girl for her for Rs 1.80 lakh. "The reason given for demanding money was that it would be required for completion of legal formalities," Chand said.

Gupta then took the woman to a medical clinic run by Kumar in Prashant Vihar. "Kumar prepared false documents for the infant girl. For the record, he got the lady admitted in his medical centre on December 11 and discharged her the next day claiming that she had delivered the 11-day-old girl," Chand said. Lal is yet to be apprehended.

HOWEVER...in one of India's most notorious baby selling/adoption cases:

The state wants to revoke the order of suspending the license for Pune-based adoption house, Preet Mandir for domestic adoptions. Preet Mandir was in the limelight in 2007 when a news channel alleging that the adoption house sold babies to foreigners for US $ 12,000 carried out a sting operation.

Vandana Krishna, principal secretary of the women and child welfare department, wrote a letter the Bombay high court stating that they wanted to revoke their order and allow Preet Mandir to go ahead with domestic adoptions.

In June, the state suspended the license after issuing the adoption house a show cause notice.
In July, while hearing a petition by a non-governmental organisation, Sakhee, the high court had restrained Preet Mandir from processing further adoption applications till further orders.

In view of the order, the government cannot revoke their suspension order.

Revati Dere, counsel for Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), informed the court they have lodged an FIR against the director of Preet Mandir – Joginder Singh Bhasin.

Even Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), a nodal agency in international adoptions, has stayed international adoptions by the adoption house.

A division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice AP Bhangale has given the government a deadline of January 11 if they want to reconsider withdrawing the suspension order.

A petition was filed in the high court by two NGOs – Advait Foundation and Sakhee – seeking that an independent agency should probe the allegations of Preet Mandir selling babies in the guise of adoption. Since then the high court has been monitoring progress in the case.

In 2007, the high court had handed over investigation to the CBI.

However, in October 2007, the CBI gave a clean chit to the adoption house saying that all its monetary transactions were accounted for. [Note: The MONEY is accounted for, what about where and how the children were obtained??]

Two years after giving clean chit to Preet Mandir, the CBI realised that its investigation was sloppy and further probe was required. [Ya think?]

Additional solicitor general Darius Khambata had sought permission of the high court in September 2009 to carry out further investigation in the case.

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