Criminal Investigation Department (CID) sleuths were shocked to find out on Wednesday that one of the members of the recently busted baby sale racket sold a baby to her own maternal uncle for an amount of Rs 2 lakh.
Paramita Chatterjee, who was associated with Sree Krishna Nursing Home on College Street and arrested for her involvement in the racket, sold a baby a year-and-a-half old.
On Tuesday and Wednesday CID officers interrogated three couples from the city and outskirts, who bought babies from the recently busted racket, to find out how they were rearing the kids. The investigators are likely to continue the interrogation of more couple in the next few days.
Of the three couples questioned were the uncle of Chatterjee and his wife, a couple who live in Kalindi and another couple from the city.
“It appeared that all the couples were emotionally attached to the babies and were rearing and providing for them to the best of their ability,” a CID source told HT.
The racket was busted on November 21. SO far three nursing homes and two NGOs were found involved with it. A total of 20 persons including three doctors have been arrested.
Incidentally, buying a baby from such rackets is illegal and can easily attract sections applicable to child trafficking for those who bought them.
However, CID is approaching the matter more with a humanitarian angle than with a law handbook. “We don’t want to push the babies back into uncertainty and, therefore, it was important to find out whether they were getting proper upkeep,” said an officer.
According to law, CID can take away the babies. They will first put the babies in hospitals from where they will proceed to the shelter of state-run childcare homes.
“We asked the couples to bring all evidences of proper upkeep of a baby such as immunisation and medical treatment records. Moreover, it was also quite evident from the body languages of the couples that they loved the babies like their own,” said a source.
HT reported last week how CID sleuths visited the residence of a couple in Kalindi and the mother, petrified at the prospect of losing her baby, threw herself at the feet of the investigators pleading them not to take the baby away.
They didn’t. “The father silently stood at a corner of the room with glistening eyes. It was so every apparent that they were doing their best for the child and loved her very much.”
They bought the newborn for Rs 2 lakh just before Durga puja, and named her Akansha. The couple married in 2012 but the wife could not conceive for four years when they got in touch with a member of the racket.