Bangalore: Acting on a tip-off, the police conducted raids in these localities and arrested a man from Tamil Nadu and four women from Rajasthan. They rescued a baby boy and four baby girls from them, CCB sources said / DH Illustratio.
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials on Saturday night rescued five babies, suspected to have either been kidnapped or sold by their poor parents, from a group of beggars who were using them for begging near Frazer Town and Kammanahalli in B’lore City.
Acting on a tip-off, the police conducted raids in these localities and arrested a man from Tamil Nadu and four women from Rajasthan. They rescued a baby boy and four baby girls from them, CCB sources said.
Though the arrested persons claimed that the babies are their own, the police doubt their claims. The police suspect that the babies, who were found drugged, could have been kidnapped by those running an inter-state begging racket.
They also suspect that some poor couple in rural areas could have sold the babies for a paltry sum. Those arrested are being interrogated to establish the identities of the babies and to ascertain from where they had got them. The babies have been sent to rescue home run by the Department of Women and Child Welfare, sources said.
The police have booked the arrested persons under Section 370 of Indian Penal Code (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) and the Juvenile Justice Act Section 23 (punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child) and Section 24 (employment of juvenile or child for begging).
During the interrogation, the police claimed that those arrested admitted that they used to drug the babies with sleeping pills and carry them around for begging. This was done to ensure that the babies do not cry or disturb them while begging.
According to a senior police officer, they got a few calls from their sources that this kind of begging racket was rampant in areas were the movement of people is more and, thus they conducted raids on Saturday night.
Similar raids will be conducted in the coming days. “These beggars run a syndicate with people from various states and use babies to evoke peoples’ sympathy and get money from them,” he added. Authorities are on the look out for other such cases.