Date: December 7, 2017
Location: Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
NAGPUR: A case of human trafficking was exposed when a 26-year-old woman approached Dhantoli police that her 12-day-old daughter was sold for Rs 50,000 to a couple claiming to own a surrogacy clinic. This couple allegedly further sold the baby to an unidentified purchaser. The couple has been arrested and granted two days PCR, but the baby is yet to be traced. A woman agent involved in the deal too has been booked, but is yet to be arrested.
The couple, Manish Mundada and his wife Harsha, was taken into custody by Dhantoli police on a complaint by Mona Barsagade. Mona and her husband Avinash, who stay at Wadi, had been earning their livelihood as labourers. An agent, identified as Bharti, who is also a co-accused in the case, is learnt to have mediated the deal between Mona and the Mundada couple.
Mona is learnt to have been introduced to Bharti at a posh hospital. Bharti had offered to help Mona become a surrogate mother, and also got a series of tests done on February 8. Subsequently, Mona was introduced to the Mundada couple by Bharti.
During the tests conducted to ascertain whether Mona was fit for surrogacy, she was found to be pregnant. Over the next few months, Mona was made to undergo sonography and other related tests at different top medical centres. Police are facing hurdles in investigation since Mona and her husband Avinash are not able to communicate specifically the location of hospitals and pathology centres where the tests were conducted upon her.
Mona, police said, also claimed that the Mundada couple would constantly communicate with her, inquiring about her health, especially the development of her pregnancy. The couple would also keep reiterating their monetary offers to buy Mona’s baby.
Mona delivered the baby on November 22 at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). On December 3, Mona handed over the baby to the couple and was paid Rs. 50,000. However, she felt remorse later and asked them to return the baby on December 4. However, the couple refused to hand over the baby, and threatened her, following which she approached the cops.
Mona had initially approached Wadi police, who transferred the case to their Dhantoli counterparts. The offence was registered at Dhantoli police station on Tuesday. Dhantoli police invoked section 370 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for trafficking and section 506 for threatening.
However, in a twist, cops said Manish claims to have fathered Mona’s child following an illicit relationship with her. Police also said the couple tried to justify their selling the baby, “since they had sponsored nutrients and routine medicines, apart from other daily needs, of Mona during her pregnancy”.
A reliable source from Dhantoli police station said the Mundada couple has so far not been cooperating with the investigating team, crippling any chances of recovering the baby from the person who has purchased her.
Senior PI Seema Mandhare of Dhantoli police station did not rule out the involvement of a bigger surrogacy racket in the matter.
Read the Times of India (Source) article here.