Skeletons continue to surface in the child-trafficking racket in Vizag


Skeletons continue to surface in the child-trafficking racket run by Universal Srusti Hospital with the police unearthing the illegal sale of one more baby girl and arresting two more persons on Thursday. The two arrested have been identified as Dr. Chekuri Padmaja of Padmaja Hospital, Seethammadhara, and N Nooka Ratnam, a resident of Cheedikada in Vizag district. The racket through the IVF hospital came to light a few days ago and that followed the arrest of six people, including two doctors, Dr. P Namrata, MD of Universal Srusti Hospital, Dr. Tirmala an employee at the same hospital, and six others for selling off a baby boy to a Kolkata-based couple. Digging into the case further, the police and medical officers carried out searches at Universal Srusti Hospital and also Padmaja Hospital.

Revealing details about the development on Thursday, police said that the gang sold a newborn girl to a couple of Vizianagaram by informing the mother of the infant that the baby was stillborn. Vizag city police chief RK Meena said that they received a complaint from Chandaka Venkata Lakshmi of Chodavaram on July 30. In her complaint, the woman stated that while pregnant, she visited Dr. Jagga Rao Hospital at Chodavaram in Vizag district for a medical check-up in November 2019 where one Nooka Ratnam had informed Venkata Lakshmi that she knew a doctor at Srusti Hospital in Vizag and assured to operate free of cost.

Believing Ratnam, Venkata Lakshmi visited Srusti Hospital and gave birth on January 31, 2020. However, Ratnam along with Ramakrishna, Dr. Tirumala, Dr. Namrata, Dr. Sarojini informed her that the baby was stillborn, and covered the child in a white cloth. Venkata Lakshmi was discharged from the hospital on February 3, 2020. Recently, Venkata Lakshmi came to know about the sale of infants by Srusti Hospital through the media and approached the MVP Police station in Vizag suspecting that the Srusti hospital team might have sold her child by cheating.

Upon investigation, police found that Dr. Padmaja prepared the case sheet fraudulently in the wrong name of the baby receiver, even though she knew the pregnant woman is the biological mother of the child and sold the baby for Rs 13 lakh to the Vizianagaram based couple. So far, six cases have been registered against Srusti Hospital. “We will recover the baby girl and will produce before the child welfare committee to reunite with her biological parents,” the police chief said.

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