She was part of a larger child trafficking network, the police said. According to the police, Ilakkiyah, also of West Saidapet, had on June 16 seen Maniraj playing on the road in front of his house in Sarathy Nagar and kidnapped him. She then took the boy to Porur and handed him over to Sathyamurthy. But the police refused to divulge on Wednesday how they traced the boy to Sathamurthy house. Sathyamurthy told the police on Wednesday: “Though I have been married for 10 years, I don’t have kids. So, I contacted Ilakkiyah, whom I know through a common friend, and told her of my desire to adopt a child. She demanded ‘2 lakh but finally agreed to give a child for ‘50,000”.
He also told the police that the child had been crying and refused to eat the food for the past couple of days. South Chennai joint commissioner KP Shanmugarajeswaran, Adyar deputy commissioner Dr KA Senthilvelan and other senior officers visited Maniraj’s house in Sarathy Nagar following the abduction. The police are also questioning Sathyamurthy and his wife for more details about Ilakkiyah. “We suspect this is a part of a big network and we are trying to catch the kingpin behind the racket,” a senior police officer said. In June 2010, social welfare department officials from Puducherry rescued Vidhyabarathi, 4, and Devadarshan, 3, from the home of M Lalitha. Also in June 2010, the Chennai suburban police busted a major child-kidnapping racket by arresting four women, including two ‘ayahs’ of a fertility clinic. In May 2010, the Krishnagiri police nabbed child trafficking racketeer Dhanalakshmi, who had disappeared with a threemonth-old baby from the Government General Hospital in Krishnagiri on May 18. Following this, a priest of a church from Padappai near Chennai was arrested.