Visakhapatnam: The Vizag police arrested two people, including a doctor, on 6 August for illegally selling a newborn baby in Visakhapatnam.

The commissioner of police, R.K Meena, said they had arrested Dr. Chekuri Padmaja of Padmaja Hospital in Seethammadhara and N. Nooka Ratnam, a resident of Cheedikada in Vizag district. The cops are also interrogating the managing director of Universal Shrusti Hospital, Dr. P. Namrata, who was taken into police custody on Thursday for two days.

Earlier, the Maharani Peta police had arrested six people, including Dr. Namrata and Dr. Tirmala of Shrusti Hospital, for selling a newborn to a Kolkata-based couple. The cops and medical officers had carried out searches at the Universal Srushti Hospital and Padmaja Hospital.

In the latest child trafficking case, the police found that the gang had sold a newborn baby girl to a couple from Vizianagaram. They had told the baby’s biological mother the baby was born dead.

On 30 July, Chandaka Venkata Lakshmi of Chodavaram had filed a police complaint alleging that Srusti Hospital had sold her baby. She had visited Dr. Jagga Rao Hospital in Chodavaram in Vizag district for a check-up in November 2019. There she met Nooka Ratnam who told her that she knew a doctor at Srusti Hospital in Vizag and assured free caesarean operation.

Trusting her, Venkata Lakshmi visited Srusti Hospital and delivered a baby girl on 31 January 2020. But Nooka Ratnam along with Ramakrishna, Dr. Tirumala, Dr. Namrata, Dr. Sarojini informed her that she had given birth to a stillborn child. Venkata Lakshmi was discharged from the hospital on 3 February. Recently, she heard the news of Srusti Hospital selling newborns and immediately approached the MVP police station in Vizag suspecting the hospital had lied to her.

According to the police, on 30 January, Dr. Chekuri Padmaja, the DGO of Padmaja Hospital, received Venkata Lakshmi’s reports from Dr. Saroja of Universal Srusti Hospital. The latter informed her that Dr. Tirumala of Srusti Hospital had sent the pregnant woman to Padmaja Hospital. On 31 January, Venkata Lakshmi underwent a c-section and delivered a baby girl at the hospital. The newborn was underweight and was referred to the neo-natal care at Medi Cover hospital, Mr. Meena said.

However, the hospital staff informed Venkata Lakshmi that she had given birth to a stillborn child. Dr. Padmaja prepared the case sheet and the birth certificates fraudulently, in the name of the couple who received the baby. The couple had earlier consulted Dr. Namrata and Dr. Tirumala of Srusti Hospital. They were unable to conceive and wanted assisted pregnancy. Dr. Namrata told them they could have a child through surrogacy and collected Rs. 13 lakh from the couple.

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