Tentacles of baby sale spread to ten Kolkata nursing homes
Racket linked to Kolkata nursing homes from where three persons were arrested by CID in fresh raids.kolkata Updated: Nov 24, 2016 10:38 IST
A day after the criminal investigation department (CID) exposed a racket involving the trafficking of newborns from a nursing home in North 24-Parganas, its tentacles spread to Kolkata on Wednesday with the arrest of three persons from two nursing homes in the city. It is learnt that the CID scanner is on 10 more nursing homes in Kolkata and the suburbs.
On Wednesday, the cops picked up Paramita Chatterjee from Srikrishna Nursing Home on College Street in North Kolkata and Prabha Pramanik and Putul Banerjee from South View Nursing Home in Behala. With this, the total number of arrests increased to 11, including the eight nabbed on Monday.
CID sleuths said that three nursing homes --- Sohan (in North 24 Parganas), South View and Srikrishna --- both in Kolkata --- were in collusion with a local NGO, Subodh Sarkar Smiriti Memorial. Cops are now looking for Dr Ashok Das, a retired gynecologist from the state-run RG Kar Medical College.
On Wednesday, the police also sealed the Thakurnagar residence of Dr TK Biswas, another suspect who has gone missing. Senior officials investigating the shocking case told HT that those arrested have admitted that they sold about 30 babies in the past two years, including one to a couple in the US for Rs 6 lakh.
“We are appealing to the mothers who were told by the nursing homes that they had delivered dead babies to come forward and contact us,” said Rajesh Kumar, additional director-general of the CID.
CID officers told HT that the mothers --- all from poor families --- were told that they had delivered stillborns, after which the babies were shipped to the office of Subodh Sarkar Smiriti Memorial in Maslandapur, North 24-Parganas, in biscuit cartons. The newborns were kept there for some days before the hunt for childless couples began.
The flourishing racket continued for two years before the police raided the nursing home from where the babies were sold. Newborn girls were sold for about Rs 80,000 if their complexion was dark, and between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh if they were fair. Baby boys fetched Rs 2 lakh and more.
The eight persons arrested on Tuesday were produced in court on Wednesday. While Satyajit Sinha and Utpala Byapari, who ran the NGO, and Bagbul Baidya and his wife Nazma Biwi, who owned the polyclinic, were sent to police custody, Ashaduzzaman, the nursing home owner, was sent to judicial custody.
“They used to target the poorest of the poor. In most cases, the couples would not show any interest to see the bodies. Even when women came for abortion, they were encouraged to deliver the child against a payment,” a police officer said, adding, “While Sinha used to bargain with prospective buyers, two clerks Pravat Sarkar and Jhantu Biswas prepared the legal papers.”
First Published: Nov 24, 2016 10:38 IST