Indian police have arrested a man in the northern state of Punjab for selling his newborn grandson to a local businessman via Facebook.

Feroz Khan, 47, was seized in the northern city of Ludhiana, 300km (186 miles) from Delhi, and accused of abducting the boy from the hospital shortly after his daughter had given birth.

With the help of two hospital employees, Mr Khan is accused of striking a deal via Facebook, the social networking website, to sell the boy for about 45,000 rupees (£549).

Satish Malhotra, a senior police officer in Ludhiana, said: “All three people who conspired to sell the child have been arrested and we will be interrogating the businessman who paid the money to buy the baby.”

The boy has since been rescued and returned to his mother, Noori Khan, who had raised the alarm with police after he was kidnapped.

If found guilty, the trio could be imprisoned for up to seven years.

Child trafficking is a major problem in India, with about 40,000 boys and girls abducted and sold for begging, slavery and prostitution every year.

Over 800 organised child-trafficking gangs are thought to operate throughout the country, especially at major railway stations such as Kolkata’s Howrah terminal.


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