The story started three months ago when Rajesh Kumar, the additional director-general (ADG) of Bengal police’s criminal investigation department (CID), received information about a flourishing baby trafficking racket operating from a nursing home of Baduria in the district of North 24 Parganas. Kumar asked three of his juniors to work on the lead.
“Two of our inspectors, Saugata Ghosh and Kakoli Ghosh, were chosen, along with special superintendent Akash Magaria who would lead the team. They started keeping a strict vigil on the movements of the suspects,” the ADG (CID) told HT.
Both Saugata and Kakoli Ghosh are in their mid-forties while Magaria is about 10 years younger to them.
The entire team is bubbling with energy despite the gruelling routine through which they are spending their days now. One of the officers, HT learnt, did not return home for more than a week. All the members are spending more than 12 hours a day on cracking the case.
However in the beginning it didn’t appear that it will be a big bang case. The two inspectors got to know that one Nazma Biwi of Baduria was a key person of the racket and she was involved in several abortion and delivery cases in neighbouring villages.
The team was expanded soon after and included 12 CID sleuths, apart from Magaria. Nazma and her husband Bagbul Baidya were running a polyclinic that specialised in abortion and were associated with Sohan Nursing Home, also in Baduria. CID sleuths started keeping an eye on both the places.
“We soon found a couple who helped us identify Nazma. The couple alleged that they had a stillborn child but suspected that their child was alive and they were tricked,” a CID officer said, adding that the couple, however, could not provide Nazma’s address. As a result, a woman CID officer went to Sohan Nursing Home and sought to meet Nazma, saying she wanted to get in touch with her in connection with a maternity case. After some time, the woman officer in disguise was given an appointment on Monday evening, but not at the nursing home but at Nazma’s home, which was nearby.
On Monday evening, after Nazma came out of the nursing home and headed for her home, CID officers followed her. By this time, they had information that there were a few babies in the nursing home who were likely to be trafficked soon.
“We did not take the risk of picking Nazma up from the nursing home because her aides could escape with the babies. There were quite a few entry and exit gates at the place. Rather, we decided to catch her at her home,” said an officer of the team.
After being cornered at her home, Nazma and her husband, who was already present at their home, initially denied all the allegations but finally broke down and accompanied the CID team to the nursing home from where the police rescued three newborns.
The next phase of the operation began soon after another round of interrogation of Nazma and her husband.
An officer of the CID team told HT on Friday, “Whatever you have seen till now is just the trailer. Picture to abhi baki hai…”