Ten more babies were rescued by Criminal Investigation Department (CID), as the probe into baby trafficking in Bengal spread wide. A total of 13 babies so far have been rescued by the sleuths.
Around midnight sleuths raided a home for mentally challenged in Thakurpukur area, near Kolkata and rescued the babies who were locked inside a room. The babies were kept on blankets over a mat on a floor. According to sleuths, the babies are aged between one month and ten months.
“The raid was conducted at Purbasha Centre, a home for mentally challenged in Thakurpukur. We have rescued ten babies aged one month to ten months,” said a CID officer on the condition of anonymity.
On November 21, CID busted a racket that operated from a private nursing home at Baduria in North 24-Parganas stretched all the way to different parts of the country and beyond to the US and the UK.
Not unexpectedly, newborn girls were sold for less — between Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh if their complexion was dark, and between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh if they were fair. The boys got sold for not less than Rs 2 lakh.
In Baduria, two three-day-olds — a boy and a girl — were found inside a biscuit carton. A third one, nearly six days old, was found in a room.
Later, over a dozen nursing homes in Kolkata and other parts of the state came under the probe. Till Thursday the total arrest went up to 13.
A couple of days after Criminal Investigation Department (CID) sleuths exposed a baby selling racket in Bengal, HT investigations found out that there was a clear pattern in targeting poor, illiterate families that started with locating couple that already had a daughter.
After zeroing in on potential targets, the nursing homes in Kolkata and North 24 parganas used to conduct ultra sonography tests on these women and inform them that they were again carrying a female foetus, which would unnerve them further.
The doctors would then advise the woman/family not to go in for abortion and instead keep the baby. If the couple insisted on termination of the pregnancy, the doctors would advise them against it. They would tell them that it would affect their health adversely and the nursing home will take care of the child.
Sources told HT that in a few cases the women would be kept in the nursing homes through a large part of the pregnancy.
After the child was delivered, the doctor used to tell the family that it was stillborn, and issue a death certificate. If the couple insisted on seeing the body, they would even pay them some money.