Saturday, 4 March 2017

Jalpaiguri child trafficking: State govt official, doctor, private hospital owners arrested

The West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Saturday booked a senior state government official and a doctor for their alleged connection with a recently busted child trafficking racket in north Bengal, officials said.

According to reports, District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) of West Bengal's Darjeeling district, Mrinal Ghosh, and Darjeeling Child Welfare Committee's member Debasish Chanda, who was also a visiting doctor at an orphanage home in Jalpaiguri district, were arrested by the state investigation agency after a marathon interrogation.

Weeks ago, CID unearthed a north Bengal based international child trafficking racket in Jalpaiguri and nabbed four persons, including a leader of BJP's women wing, in connection with the case.

"Darjeeling's DCPO Mrinal Ghosh and doctor-cum-child welfare committee member Debasish Chanda had direct links with the child trafficking racket," a CID official said.

"Mrinal Ghosh's wife Shasmita Ghosh, who is the DCPO of Jalpaiguri, is also under our scanner and she was also quizzed for hours today. She would be called again for interrogation," the official added.

According to reports, arrested government officer Mrinal Ghosh was awarded by the state government last year for his exemplary work towards child protection in Darjeeling district.

However, Mrinal Ghosh and Debasish Chanda were produced in a local court and were sent to 6-day CID custody for further interrogation.

Meanwhile, state police on the same day arrested two owners of a privately-run hospital at Falta area in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district for their alleged involvement in child smuggling, reports said.

According to reports, two owners of 'unlicensed' Jeevan Deep Nursing Home, Prabir Khan and Pradyut Khan, were held from Bhadura area under Falta Police Station limits in South 24 Parganas on Saturday morning.

"This nursing home, which was being run without any permission and license, was used as a 'safe house' for the babies, taken there for trafficking," a senior official of South 24 Parganas district police said.

"They brought babies to the hospital from several locations and kept the newborns their until the babies were smuggled," the official added.

However, the duo was produced in a local court in South 24 Parganas and were remanded to police custody.