Is baby-lifting racket on the prowl in Chennai?
Chennai: With the kidnapping of a baby boy reported by a couple in the city, cops are probing as to whether there was a role played by any baby stealing racket in this incident.
The Esplanade police were in receipt of a complaint from the couple, Vinod, 29 and his wife Metha, 22, citing that their 8-month-old son Rokesh, who was also the youngest of their three children, had gone missing.
The family, which has a hut in Old Tiruvallur bus stand near the Harbour MLA office, usually slept on the pavement in front of Burma Bazaar on North Fort Road, at around 10 pm, after dinner.
Metha last saw her baby boy at around 3 am when she fed him. An hour later, she woke up to find the boy missing. She alerted her husband, and the couple searched for the boy in vain, before lodging a complaint. The couple has two other children — Rohit (4), and Rohan (2).
Cops smell an internal family feud behind the kidnap but have not completely ruled out the possibility of the hand of a baby lifting gang. “We have not ruled out any possibility. We have obtained CCTV footage from Raja Annamalai Mandram, and are checking the footage to establish the identity of the person, who took the baby away,” said a senior police official privy to the investigation.
The City police are already tasked with solving a similar case where a couple, also pavement dwellers, reported the kidnapping of their daughter on Wall Tax Road last month, and the case is yet to be solved. Four months ago, the daughter of Karthik and Subbama, pavement dwellers on New Avadi road, was rescued from a Tiruvannamalai man, after she was kidnapped. Sources said baby lifters target children of the homeless and sell baby boys for a price of Rs 30,000. The cost of the baby when it reaches the client seeking illegal adoption, is around Rs 2 lakh.