Two children have been rescued after their father allegedly tried to sell them to strangers while in a drunken stupor, in a shocking incident that took place in the Mahabubabad district of Telangana. The children - young boys aged 3 and 4 - will be shifted to a government home.
The two boys' mother reportedly died less than a month ago, leaving them in the care of a father who is believed to be an alcoholic.
The father had been approached by a couple who asked him for the children; they had brought them some biscuits and were allegedly trying to lure them away in an autorickshaw when a neighbour raised the alarm.
The woman escaped but the man was caught by locals. He claimed they had only asked the father if his wife and he could bring them up, since they no longer had a mother.
The father has denied he tried to sell his children, who will now be taken to an institution run by the state government's Women and Child Welfare department.
"Clearly the children are not safe in the custody of the father, who is a drunkard and unable to look after his children,'' child rights activist Achyutha Rao declared.
The police have said a case of attempted kidnapping will be booked.
"We have not recovered any cash and the father has denied he tried to sell the children. So we cannot conclude this is a case of child trafficking or sale," B Balaji, Circle Inspector, Gudur Mandal Police Station, told NDTV.