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Wanted better life for them, says man arrested for allegedly selling 2-month-old twin daughters in Bengal

An eyewitness said that the attackers approached him from behind and shot him in the back.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2018 17:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Midnapore
Bengal,child trafficking,Bhaduria village
A man from West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district was arrested on Sunday for allegedly selling off his twin daughters, aged about two months, for nearly Rs 2 lakh, officials said on Monday.(Reuters File Photo)

A man from West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district was arrested on Sunday for allegedly selling off his twin daughters, aged about two months, for nearly Rs 2 lakh, officials said on Monday.

Ratan Brahma, a clothes seller from Bhaduria village in Ghaighata area, sold his daughters to two men from the same district. Brahma and his wife also have an eight-year-old daughter.

Police said Brahma. who is in his late thirties, told them during preliminary questioning on Sunday that he was a poor man and gave his daughters away so that they could live a better life.

“He could not bring up his three daughters, the father told us,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.

Though Brahma claimed that he had not taken any money from those who took his daughters, police officers alleged they found about Rs 1.45 lakh from his house.

“Krishnakanta Das, who took one of the daughters, is a rice trader. Recently, his only daughter committed suicide. He told us that he was unaware that babies could not be bought in such a way,” an officer of Ghaighata police station said.

Thakurnagar area’s Das paid Rs 1 lakh and Amal Ghosh, a farmer from Mahishakati village, gave Rs 80,000 to Brahma for the babies, police said.

“Police is interrogating Brahma to find out why he sold the babies. They have been brought in the local block rural hospital at Chandpara. On Tuesday, they will be produced before the Child Welfare Committee and would be sent to a welfare home,” district magistrate of North 24 Parganas Antara Acharya said.

Brahma’s wife Rama gave birth to the daughters at a hospital in Thakurnagar, about 64 km from Kolkata, and the babies were handed over to Das and Ghosh on October 26. Locals informed the police after they learned that he had sold his daughters.

“Ratan Brahma was arrested and booked under sections of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. We are also interrogating the two persons who bought the babies,” Anil Roy, the sub-divisional police officer (Bongaon), said.

This is the latest incident of a parent selling off their children in the state.

In May this year, police in Cooch Behar district in north Bengal began a search for a one-month-old girl who was sold by her mother soon after she was born.

The 30-year-old woman allegedly got Rs 20,000 for the baby and her neighbour, who struck the deal, allegedly received Rs 50,000, according to Snehashis Chowdhury, district child protection officer.

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 17:00 IST