Police discover ‘baby farm’ in India where newborns are sold for $1,500

© Jayanta Dey
Police from India’s Madhya Pradesh state discovered a “baby farm” in a private hospital that was selling and swapping unwanted newborns for around $1,500, local media reported.

The babies, which were born to women who were raped or involved in illicit relationships, were being sold for adoption from Palash Hospital in Gwalior’s Murar area, according to the Times of India.

“Three others have been sold to childless couples in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,” Prateek Kumar, a security official, told paper.  

Two infants have been rescued by authorities so far, and five people have been arrested, including the hospital director and a manager who employed a gang to find girls with unwanted pregnancies.

“When a girl or her parents approached them for termination of pregnancies, doctors at this hospital used to convince them assuring a safe and secret delivery,” an investigating officer said.  “Once the baby is delivered and mother gets discharged, hospital authorities start hunting for gullible couples who could buy them.”

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Police are now looking to track down other babies sold from the hospital as the investigation continues.

India has long been criticized for its poor women’s rights record. Human trafficking, violence against women, and rape are common in the country, where women comprise 48.3 percent of the population.

In 2012, thousands of protesters took to the streets of New Delhi, calling on police to protect women after a woman named Jyoti Singh died of injuries sustained while being brutally raped by six men on a bus.

Two out of three women report being sexually harassed in the capital, according to a report by the UN.

Numerous women’s rights groups, such as Sayfty, work to protect those at risk by educating women in matters of self-defense.