As part of the probe in the international child trafficking racket, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) rescued 10 newborn girl children from an old age home at Thakurpukur on Friday morning. The girls of age group from one to ten months were brought there for trafficking.
Rajesh Kumar, ADG CID, said that acting on a tip-off, the CID officers conducted a raid at Purbasha old age home and found the babies in a room situated on the second floor of the building. The children were admitted to Behala ESI Hospital. “The racket even had trafficked babies to other states. But it will be premature to say whether the racket has any international link,” he said.
According to a senior official of the hospital, one child was suffering from dehydration. Proper treatment has been administered to her and at present, all the ten children were in good condition.
Reena Banerjee, owner of the old age home, was arrested. Reena is the daughter of Putul Banerjee alias Bordi, who was the owner of South View Nursing Home at Behala arrested for the Baduria child trafficking case. The nursing home was also sealed by the police as Putul used to tell the parents of the newborn that the mother had given birth to a stillborn baby and later sold the babies.
The police are in search of three more women who had taken the second floor of the building on rent. They kept the babies in an unhygienic condition in a room in the second floor. The women are at large. The CID officers initiated surveillance in search of the accused who used to act as link women between doctors and the NGOs.
Police suspect that the women had brought the babies to the old age home at Thakurpukur after Sujit Smriti Memorial Trust at Maslandapur in North 24 Parganas was sealed. Investigation revealed that all the three places namely Sohan Nursing Home at Baduria in North 24 Parganas, Sree Krishna Nursing Home at College Street and South View Nursing Home at Behala had connection with the NGOs. The nursing home used to “supply” new born babies as per the requirement of the NGOs. The police conducted the raid in the wee hours on Friday after getting the information about the old age home after interrogating the people arrested from North 24 Parganas and Kolkata in the past two days on charges of trafficking the newborns.
The investigating officers suspect that there are some more such nursing homes where child trafficking takes place. They assured that crackdown against such nursing homes would continue.
Local residents of Thakurpukur said that often, a woman used to come to the old age home in a car and she was found carrying a newborn child. She used to enter the old age home after leaving the car within a blink of an eye and would leave the place in the same car within a few minutes.
The CID officers searched the house of the owner of Sree Krishna Nursing Home, Partha Chatterjee, who was arrested on Thursday, and found Rs 15,000 cash, some US dollar and jewellery.