Mumbai: 6 held after toddler is sold to gay couple for Rs 4.65 lakh

A Thane-based homosexual couple allegedly bought a one-year-old boy after paying Rs 4.65 lakh to his parents, with the mediation of two transgender individuals and a woman agent, identified as Sakeena Shaikh, from the Malwani area of Malad.

The DN Nagar police booked and arrested six—the parents, the transgender individuals, the man who allegedly bought the child and Shaikh—in connection with the case on Sunday while the toddler was rescued and sent to a childcare centre in Andheri West.

According to sources, the parents, who reside in the Malwani, had approached the DN Nagar police on Sunday. They claimed to the authorities they had handed over the boy to Shaikh, who resided in their neighbourhood, for a film shoot, but after paying the parents sums of Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 for a couple of months, the payments ceased and the child wasn’t returned to them.

A case was registered under various Indian Penal Code Sections, including 370 and 34, as well as Sections 80 and 81 of the Child Protection and Safety Act. Under the guidance of DCP Raj Tilak Roushan, Senior Inspector Machindra and Police Inspector Pathan, detection officer API Rakesh Pawar began the investigation and raided the couple’s home and rescued the child. One man was detained after he was found to be involved in child trafficking.

“We have detained Shaikh, the parents and the two transgender individuals—Saiba and Rabiya Ansari. During the interrogation, they revealed that the child had not been given any film shoot. Instead, the parents had sold him to the couple for Rs 4.65 lakh,” stated the police.

“On Monday, the six accused were produced before the court where they were remanded in police custody till May 29,” said an officer from DN Nagar police station.

During the investigation, it was revealed the parents had three children and had decided to sell the youngest. When people came to know about this, they started taunting them, saying that the transgender individuals who facilitated the sale would castrate the boy. Feeling ashamed, the couple hatched a story and registered the complaint to get their child back.

The buyers

According to the police, the couple who bought the child are well-to-do and reside in a luxurious house. They were fond of children and had tried their best to adopt one via various organisations but failed to do so as they did not fulfil the criteria.

The couple organised events such as high-profile parties and had allegedly asked Saiba to look for a child who could be adopted or purchased. Shaikh worked as a maid at Saiba’s house in Andheri and it was she who convinced the parents to sell the child, the police said.

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