A child-trafficking racket has been busted with the arrest of seven persons, and a one-and-a-half year-old girl rescued from their clutches, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.
All seven, including five women, hail from "well-to-do families" that operate businesses of their own in the steel city, Bikram Keshari Bhoi, the additional superintendent of police (ASP), Rourkela, said.
The eighth member of the racket, also a woman, is at large, and the police are on the lookout for her, he said.
"This has been a real revelation ... We are not going to leave anything to chance and find out all about this illegal activity. We will investigate every possible angle that might be involved, including organ trade," Bhoi asserted.
He said that the police, after initial investigation, have found out that the gang "sold the children to people in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh".
The matter came to light when a 40-year-old woman, a resident of Timber Colony here, lodged a police complaint, claiming that two local women took her granddaughter away after promising to pay her money, but did not cough up any.
A raid was subsequently conducted in the steel city on Monday following which the seven were arrested.
According to the ASP, the woman, in her complaint, said she was promised Rs 40,000 for a girl and Rs 3 lakh for a boy.
"We are not sure but financial constraints, especially in this COVID-19 situation, might have prompted the to do so," he claimed, adding that the child was later handed over to her parents.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)