Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Police are on high alert after a number of child trafficking cases have been reported. The police had arrested four members, including the mother of a 10-month-old baby, when they were trying to sell it to a couple in Andhra Pradesh for a huge sum.
Police arrested an agent Thanakam on Friday based on the information provided by the four people who were arrested.
Thankam has four cases of child trafficking against her and is a habitual offender and has national-level networks, according to police.
While there are several processes of adoption in the state with approved legal procedures, the sidestepping of these laws and making children available through the illegal route is getting rampant in the state.
A senior police officer with the Tamil Nadu Police while speaking to IANS said, “The child traffickers are getting the support from some ambulance drivers, testing laboratories and even government hospitals on women who are aborting their pregnancy due to social reasons and in some cases due to physical issues. These women are convinced by the child trafficking network to give birth to the child and the child is then bought for a paltry sum and sold at a higher price. We are in the process of cracking this racket and have got valuable tips. However, we cannot provide more information now.”
Police said that a special team has been constituted based out of Chennai and this team is tracking people who have previous cases of child trafficking as well as some adoption centres. The state police have also found that the traffickers are getting support from even Primary Health centres in several parts of the state and an effective network is in place.
R. Kumaravelu, a social activist based out of Salem while speaking to IANS said, “Child trafficking cases are taking place in several parts of the state and I was doing a study based on media reports and then followed these links. There is a pattern evolving with several laboratories, even posh and high-end ones, turning into information centres for the traffickers and once the pregnancy of an unwed girl is confirmed, the agents up their ante and try to do a background check of the concerned families.”
He added, “Once the pregnancy is confirmed, the agents approach poor and lower-middle-class families and try to convince them to deliver the child and assure them money. If the family agrees, the girl is shifted to some other town on the pretext of a job or higher studies and admitted to a good hospital and after the baby is delivered and handed over to the agents, the girl is brought back to the home town. The family is given some money but the child is sold at a huge amount and this racket has roots in village offices, municipalities and corporation offices to get the birth certificate of the child and some adoption centres are also hand in glove with these racketeers.”
State police have got a few tip-offs and with a special team being constituted, the police are high on its action to crack the child trafficking network.