Newborn traffickers preyed on unwed mothers, booked babies in advance for sale
The newborn traffickers of Jalpaiguri were constantly on the lookout for unwed mothers who were not in a position to keep and rear their children, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) sleuths have found out.
The babies these women delivered were sold off. The investigators have even found a case where the racket operators took advance money from a couple just by showing them a pregnant woman whose baby they would have passed on to them.
They have even pleaded with the sleuths to recover their advance.
On the night of February 18, CID busted a racket in the north Bengal district of Jalpaiguri that sold a number of newborns to couples in and outside the state. It followed close on the heels of a racket unearthed last year in south Bengal, where 20 people including two doctors were arrested.
According to CID sources, the racketeers, who ran the ‘Bimala Shishu Griha’, welfare home, kept the unwed mothers there, and then even went to the extent of forcing them to sign agreements that they were giving up all claims on their baby.
Two unwed mothers, victims, have been identified by CID and interrogated. One of them is likely to provide her version to the court on Wednesday.
While, police have arrested Chandana Chakraborty chairperson and Sonali Mondol chief adoption officer of the NGO, police is on the lookout of Juhi Chowdhury, a district leader of BJP women’s wing, who was named in the FIR registered by CID.
Chandana and Sonali not only kept a hawk eye themselves but also maintained a network of agents for prospective unwed mothers. The agents informed and contacted the unwed mothers in Jalpaiguri, Siliguri and Darjeeling areas, who were then lured into the racket.
Almost always from poor and lower middle class families, these unwed mothers were afraid of social stigma and were easy prey for the racketeers.
Meanwhile, father of Chowdhury, who is a senior leader of BJP arrived at the state headquarters of the party in Tuesday to explain his stand. “My daughter is staying away from the police after seeing the degree of torture and persecution in the state. She is innocent,” he told the media on Tuesday evening.
November last year, CID busted an inter-state baby trafficking racket following raids in Kolkata and North 24 parganas districts. It rescued thirteen babies and arrested 20 persons including doctors, quacks and nursing home staffs. The racket involved nursing homes, hospitals, NGO homes in atleast four districts of Bengal and spread to different parts of India where babies were sold.