13 Arrested in Bengal Child Racket
On Thursday, the owner of the Sri Krishna Nurshing home at College Street was arrested by CID for involvement with the baby racket. The number of arrested person now reached 13 in this trafficking case.
On Wednesday, four people were arrested for. Two of them are owners of a nursing home in Behala, the other two are associated with a nursing home on College Street. A third nursing home, in south Kolkata’s Kustia, is also under the scanner, said CID sources.
Sources fear that at least 45 newborns were trafficked by the gang. The investigators said they were also keeping a close watch on a retired doctor from RG Kar Medical College and Hospital for suspected association with the gang. “So far, we have arrested 12 persons. We have taken the arrested in police custody. We are expecting more details to emerge soon,” said CID DIG B L Meena.
Investigators said the Kolkata nursing homes had a unique modus operandi. Parents of children born out of wedlock were asked to stay free of cost at these nursing homes. They were paid each day, and the total package was around Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh, after which the babies were sold at Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
Wednesday’s first arrests were made from Behala’s South View Nursing Home on James Long Sarani, colloquially referred to as “Bordi’s nursing home” by locals. The two arrested are sisters, Putul Banerjee (58) and Prava Pramanik (55). Investigators said it was Putul who used to supply newborns to the gang. Sources said their main earnings were through abortions, and their main targets were children born out of wedlock.
Locals said the two women admitted very few patients. “At the time of the arrests, there were just five patients in the hospital. Among the other nursing homes, Dolphin Nursing home and Srikrishna nursing homes are under the scanner after Paramita Chatterjee, who recently took over as owner of Sri Krishna, was arrested from there, as did Santosh Kumar Samanta (60), a doctor who lives in Dum Dum.
The racket, which the CID busted on Monday night, was thriving on the pan-Indian network of an NGO based in Machhlandapur in Barasat, Subodh Memorial Trust, run by Satyajit Sinha. This NGO had acted as the link to all nursing homes. Sources said that at least two others who live in Durga Nagar, Dum Dum are actively involved.
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