Islamabad: Baby business lands couple in trouble
ISLAMABAD: A local court remanded a doctor caught overnight selling a newborn baby to police custody here on Wednesday. Bhara Kahu police had requested five-day remand of Dr Mohammad Irshad but Judicial Magistrate Kashif Qayoum granted three-day remand.
His wife, Aisha, will be produced as an accomplice in the same court on Thursday to seek her physical remand, the police told Dawn. Dr Irshad was already under investigation for two months after police recovered a stolen newborn baby brought to his Niaz Medical Centre and Maternity Home in Bhara Kahu for sale by a midwife.
But this time the police were led to Irshad by an informer who said the doctor was offering a one-day-old boy for Rs45,000. He was caught in a sting operation.
An undercover buyer arranged a meeting with the doctor on Behra Bridge Tuesday night. Police swooped down as the child was being exchanged for money and arrested Irshad, with the marked currency notes they had provided the ‘buyer’.
The child was given into the care of the Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH), better known by its old name Polyclinic.
Irshad had served in this very hospital for five years on contract until 2007 before he set up Niaz Medical Centre and Maternity Home in the Bhara Kahu suburbs of Islamabad.
Police alleges he, with his wife, had been clandestinely carrying out abortion of unwanted pregnancies there and also selling baby girls and babies born out of wedlock abandoned by their families out of shame.
Alongside the babies delivered in secret in their own maternity home, the police said the couple allegedly also secured unwanted babies of married couple or the newborn of unmarried girls for selling them to childless persons.
They charged thousands of rupees for the abortions and deliveries, according to the police.
Police said Dr Irshad told them during investigation that the boy they caught him selling was delivered by an unmarried girl at his facility on Monday and he had charged Rs10,000 as his fee.
Dr Irshad and his wife have been booked under PPC 338-c (illegal abortion), 361 (kidnapping from lawful guardianship), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave).
That was the finale of a long trail of crimes allegedly traced to the couple, according to the police.
Only recently, the police found two newborn babies, on different dates, near his clinic. It was suspected they were illicit births and so abandoned. The babies are still in the Polyclinic. One of them is 10 days old now and the other five days old.
Again a week ago the police found the body of a newborn near the clinic and thought it was botched abortion.