Sale of baby girls
Police detect involvement of orphanage in Gulbarga
DH News Service
In a major breakthrough in the sale of baby girls case, the Gulbarga police have unearthed an orphanage in Gulbarga itself, a branch of the Tandur-based John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home (JAMBH).
JAMBH at Tandur in Andhra Pradesh is in the eye of a storm for allegedly receiving the baby girls that were reportedly sold by the Lambani (Banjara) women in the tandas (hamlets) coming under the Konchavaram forest range in Chincholi taluk of the district. According to police records, around 20 baby girls were sold from these tandas by the Lambani women due to abject poverty, but unconfirmed reports say it is around 200 babies.
But investigations by the Gulbarga police led them to an orphanage in the Om Layout in the Veerandra Patil Nagar in the City. SP Alok Kumar said that on a definite clue, the police raided the orphanage on Thursday but could not arrest Suryakumar, the person in-charge of this orphanage. The police had come to know of the existence of this orphanage a few days ago and had kept a close watch on it.
On Thursday morning, when they raided the orphanage, they could not arrest Suryakumar as he was away in Bangalore. When Suryakumar returned to the City today, he was immediately arrested by the police. Mr Alok Kumar said that the orphanage was being utilised as a branch of the Tandur-based JAMBH. Police have also recovered some incriminating documents from this City-based orphanage, he added.
After interrogating Suryakumar, Mr Alok Kumar said that the orphanage was being utilised as a reserve by the JAMBH and the excess babies from Tandur were being sent here. At the time of the raid, the police found four baby girls and one baby boy in the orphanage. But, the police suspect that the "unaccounted" babies from Tandur were being kept here. Of the five babies, four female babies had been sent from Tandur, while the male baby was from the City, he added.
But, there are unconfirmed reports that these five babies were sent to the orphanage from the District Government Hospital as they had been abandoned. But, according to rules governing this hospital, it has to send the abandoned babies to the Vatsala Charitable Trust in Bangalore which is recognised by the State government. Nevertheless, hospital sources, denying that babies from the hospital were sent to this orphanage, said this orphanage had written a letter to the hospital in 1999 stating that it was willing to accept the abandoned babies. But, the hospital had refused to send the babies there.
Mr Alok Kumar said that the JAMBH branch was operational since 1999 and was registered in March that year. But, he suspected that it was in operation prior to 1999, as during the raid, the police had discovered a doctor's medical prescription dated December 1998, for treating the babies. Though around 30 babies were accepted here, the orphanage has neither maintained any records nor any registers, he added.
He also said that Suryakumar is a close associate of JAMBH owner Savatri Puttaraju Samson since last 20 years and that it was she who had persuaded him to open a branch of JAMBH in Gulbarga. Suryakumar's wife is a staff nurse in the District Government Hospital here, and is known for her lavish lifestyle, he added. The police are still on the lookout for Ms Savatri, who is absconding, he added.