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Kolkata nursing home owner held for trafficking newborns

The health department held a meeting and has initiated a probe into a couple of nursing homes, including Shri Krishna Nursing Home in Kolkata, for their alleged role in the racket.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
November 25, 2016 12:00:21 am
Kolkata, Kolkata trafficking, Kolkata human trafficking, Kolkata babies trafficking, Kolkata newborns trafficking, Kolkata news, India news Sree Krishna Nursing Home in Kolkata, whose owner and a doctor have been arrested for trafficking newborns. (Express Photo by Subham Dutta)

The state CID on Thursday arrested the owner of a nursing home and a woman associated with an NGO in connection with the inter-state newborn trafficking racket busted in Baduria recently, taking the total number of arrests in the case to 14.

Partha Chatterjee, owner of Shri Krishna Nursing Home in Kolkata, College Street, had allegedly been involved in the racket for the past three years, while Marefa Bibi of Raghabpur Machlandapur of Habra, North-24 Parganas, was allegedly working for the Sujit Dutta Memorial Welfare Trust, an NGO which would lure childless couples under the guise of facilitating adoptions and sell newborns to them. She was an “active” trafficker and was working with Utpala Byapari (already arrested), the officer said.

Meanwhile, the health department held a meeting and has initiated a probe into a couple of nursing homes, including Shri Krishna Nursing Home in Kolkata, for their alleged role in the racket. “We have initiated an inquiry. A team under the leadership of Deputy Director (Health) Hare Krishna Chandra will investigate the role of these nursing homes in trafficking of newborn babies,” said a senior official.

“We have arrested as many as 14 people in connection with the racket. All have been arrested under sections 369 (kidnapping or abducting child under 10 years with intent to steal from its person), 370 (trafficking) 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and 34 of CrPc,” said Deputy Inspector General (CID), Bharat Lal Meena.

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According to sources, the NGO would liaise with nursing home staff, who would either facilitate deliveries of unmarried women or dupe new parents into believing their babies were stillborn and then hand over the newborns to the NGO, which would sell them to childless couples. The rate of a baby would vary on the basis of gender and complexion. While girls with a dark complexion would be sold for Rs 1 lakh, those with fair skin were sold for Rs 1.5 lakh. Similarly, male babies with dark skin were sold for Rs 2 lakh, while those with a light complexion were priced at higher than Rs 2 lakh, said officials.

The racket had been operating for the past three years, and involved a dozen nursing homes in Kolkata, sources claimed. Newborns were sold in Mumbai and Delhi as well, and the CID is also probing the possibility of deals having been struck overseas. It had relied on a massive network of people, each of whom received commissions for their roles.

The racket had been uncovered on Monday, when CID officials raided a nursing home at Baduria based on a tip-off. The police had found two newborn babies wrapped in cotton and hidden in a biscuit carton. “It was a difficult raid, and we had to personally keep track of the movement of the traffickers because the victims, many of who were unmarried and very poor, were unwilling to speak,” said an official. Eight persons – Najma Bibi, Utpala Byapari, quack Amirul Biswas, owner of a local nursing home Asadur Jaman, NGO activist Satyajit Sinha, clinic owner Bakbul Baidya and lawyer Prabhat Sarkar along with his associate Jhantu Biswas – had been arrested on Monday itself while Dr Santosh Kumar Samanta (60), attached with Shri Krishna Nursing Home, was arrested on Wednesday.

Paromita Chatterjee, from the same nursing home, and Prabha Parmanik and Putul Banerjee of South View Nursing Home in Behala were arrested the same day.

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