By Ali Hazrat Bacha
PESHAWAR: A lady doctor arrested from a local private hospital on Thursday night on the charge of selling newborn babies was sent to jail on 15-day judicial remand by a local court here on Friday.
“We have recovered a five-month-old baby boy from her possession, which was sold for Rs360,000,” an official of Tehkal police station said and claimed that Dr Fatima had sold several babies in the past.
He said that a case had been registered against Dr Fatima, working at Amaan Welfare Hospital, here under Section 371-A-B of Pakistan Penal Code. When asked, he said that Section 371-A pertains to selling for purpose of prostitution and ‘B’ for purchasing for purpose of prostitution.
Quoting the doctor, the official said that before this she had sold several babies born out of wedlock. He said that efforts were being made to ascertain the identity of the parents.
The official said that the lady doctor, who had done her masters in medicine (MD) from Afghanistan, was produced before judicial magistrate Qudratullah Marwat to seek her custody for remand, but the court declined and sent her on judicial remand for 15 days.
He said that the baby was given to a local photojournalist, Fayaz Aziz, after he approached the assistant coordination officer concerned. “Aziz promised to adopt him like his own child,” he said.
Additional Superintendent of Police Khalid Hamdani, when contacted, said that the woman was arrested on a tip-off and SHO Zahoor Khan of Tehkal police was the complainant in the FIR.
The ASP said that a policewoman in the garb of customer contacted the lady doctor for buying a baby and as Dr Fatima provided the baby the police arrested her red-handed on Thursday night.
“We are working on the issue to ascertain who was behind this illegal business,” Mr Hamdani said and added that police had also got some anonymous letters about the business.
Referring to the doctor’s statement, he said that the babies had been sold from Rs150,000 to Rs360,000. He confirmed that the doctor had done MD from Afghanistan and was employed in the private hospital.
Another official of the police station told this correspondent that the lady doctor was speaking so boldly that she seemed to have the support of some influential people. He added that no ordinary person could deal in such business so openly. The doctor, he said, was not regretful over what she did and said that she was ‘saving future of the babies’ and had not done anything wrong.