They were rocking little Akansha on a cradle made of a discarded sari in the middle of the room. She kept moving her arms and feet playfully, staring at the mother who applied a small round black patch on her daughter’s forehead to save her from ominous gaze. The father and grandmother sat nearby indulgently. The mother sat beside the cradle, gently rocking it. The gaze of all three was fixed on the baby.
The picture of happiness in the Kalindi house changed as four CID officers entered on Tuesday evening and wanted to know whether the baby belonged to the couple.
The mother begged them to not take the baby away while the father stood at a corner. The only unperturbed soul in the room was two-month-old Akansha.
The couple was worried as they didn’t have the baby’s birth certificate whom they bought for Rs 2 lakh.
This family in Kalindi near Dumdum was the first to buy a baby from the inter-state child-trafficking racket that the police busted earlier this month.
According to CID sources, it was a case of duping.
“The Kalindi case is a perfect example of how gullible couples were taken for a ride. This couple bought a baby but didn’t even have a basic document like a birth certificate,” a source told HT.
The couple were married in 2012 but remained without a child for the next four years, when it struck them that they could buy one from the market.
The family could ill afford Rs 2 lakh, but the fierce desire of parenthood led them to pawn whatever little gold ornaments they had and raise loans to pay the racketeers.
They brought the baby home when she was only a few days old. The couple named her Akansha (desire) to mark her arrival as a fulfilment of their desire.
They handed over the cash to Utpala Byapari alias Poly, who was attached with Sohan Nursing Home and Sujit Dutta Memorial Trust, an NGO, both in North 24 Parganas. Poly was arrested on November 21, when the racket was busted, along with seven others.
The couple begged the sleuths to let them keep the baby. The CID didn’t intend to bring back the baby as it has no infrastructure to keep the babies.
ESI Medical College and Hospital in Joka, where the 10 newborns rescued from Purbasha old-age home near Thakurpukur, were kept, has already asked the CID to take away the babies as they were “blocking beds” in the hospital.