Three days after Criminal Investigation Department (CID) sleuths busted a racket involving the alleged sale of infants in Bengal, HT found there was a clear pattern in the way the suspects targeted illiterate families from poor backgrounds to further their business interests.
Sources said the racketeers, who operated through two nursing homes in Kolkata and another at Baduria in North 24 Parganas, would zero in on couples who already had a daughter. After conducting ultra-sonography tests on the mother, the suspects would tell her that she was carrying another female foetus. If the couple sought termination of the pregnancy, the doctors would advise them against it. They would tell the parents that such a procedure could be detrimental to the mother’s health, and the nursing home was willing to take care of the child instead.
After the infant was delivered, the doctor would tell the parents it was a stillborn. If the couple insisted on seeing the body, they would be silenced through monetary offers. The infants would then be handed over to Satyajit Sinha and Utpala Byapari, who ran an NGO called Subodh Sarkar Smriti Memorial at Maslandapur in North 24 Parganas. Sinha and Byapari were in charge of finding buyers for the children.
Police said dark-complexioned girls were sold for anywhere between Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh, while fair ones got them as much as Rs 1.5 lakh. Male infants were sold for Rs 2 lakh or more. Dr Santosh Samanta of Sree Krishna Nursing Home was entrusted with preparing the death certificate for the infants sold. He made around Rs 60,000 from each sale.
The medical establishments involved in the racket were Sohan Nursing Home in North 24 Parganas, Sree Krishna Nursing Home on College Street, and South View Nursing Home at Behala (both in Kolkata). The main accused was identified as 44-year-old TK Biswas, associated with Sohan Nursing Home.
Sources said Biswas had also set up another nursing home at Bagula in Nadia district but it was yet to be inaugurated. The racketeers sold the newborns to childless couples for over two years, until the CID busted the syndicate on November 21.