CoD begins probe into sale of girl babies
DH News Service
The Corps of Detectives (CoD) today formally took over the investigations of the reported sale of baby girls by the Lamani (Banjara) women in the tandas (hamlets) of Konchavaram forest range in Chincholi taluk of the district. According to reports, CoD Superintendent of Police Dr Ravindranath today arrived in Hyderabad in connection with the investigations. He was expected at Gulbarga today evening.
It may be recalled that the cases of sale of baby girls by Lamani women had come to light in mid- March with the arrest of one Christopher at Tandur in Andhra Pradesh while he was transporting three baby girls to Hyderabad, who were reportedly procured from the Lamani women in Konchavaram tandas. Consequently, when Home Minister Mallikarjun Kharge visited these tandas in April, he had stated that the investigation would be handed over to the CoD.
Meanwhile, the Gulbarga police had on Thursday unearthed a branch of the Tandur-based John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home at Gulbarga. It may be recalled that the baby girls from the Konchavaram forest range were transported to this Home.
On raiding the John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home branch here, it was found that the branch acted as a reserve for the Tandur- based Home. While Suryakumar, who was in charge of this branch, was arrested on Saturday, his mother-in-law Saroja, who was looking after the babies here, was arrested today by the Konchavaram police. With the arrest of Saroja, the total number of arrests in the case have come to seven. A few days ago, the police arrested Varaprasad, who was in charge of the Tandur-based John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home and another of his accomplice Sudharashan.
On Saturday, Suryakumar was arrested, while Saroja was arrested today. While the Andhra Pradesh police had arrested Christopher, the other six have been arrested by the Karnataka police. Deputy Commissioner M Laxminarayan today ordered the John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home Gulbarga Branch to be closed and the five babies that were there have been shifted to the Nandagokul Orphanage in the City run by the Vivekananad Kuhsta Seva Sangha.
Meanwhile, according to reports reaching here, all the 58 babies in the John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home at Tandur have been shifted to different orphanages at Hyderabad by the Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Department and the John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home has been locked. Reports also said that of the babies in the orphanage, two had died while nine have been hospitalised.
CoD Superintendent Dr Ravindranath is expected to question Christopher, who is lodged at the Pargi Jail in Andhra Pradesh. He would also be questioning the other six arrested by the Karnataka police.