Child trafficking: State-wide crackdown on rackets intensify
Baduria case: CID arrests doctor, another woman
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested another accused doctor in connection with the newborn child trafficking incident. He was arrested from Memari in Burdwan on Saturday late night.
The accused Tapan Biswas was absconding since the CID had made a breakthrough into the case of child trafficking and arrested eight persons from Suhan Nursing Home at Baduria and the NGO Sudhir Memorial Trust at Maslandapur.
Biswas used to practice in Suhan Nursing Home and his task was to convince people to admit a pregnant woman in their nursing home. Later, they used to claim that the mother had given birth to a stillborn child. On the other hand they used to sell the babies for a few lakh rupees.
Biswas, who was a resident of Shyamnagar in North 24 Parganas, had taken shelter in the house of a relative at Memari after fleeing from his house to avoid getting arrested. A team comprising officers of CID had raided his Shyamnagar house the day after the racket was busted in the nursing home at Baduria. His family members claimed that he had left home early in the morning. Since that day CID officers had conducted raids at many places but they couldn’t find him.
On Saturday night, the investigating officers received a tip-off that he was hiding in the house of a relative at Memari. The raid in the house at Memari was conducted within hours after receiving the information and arrested him.
He was brought to CID’s headquarters at Bhawani Bhawan where he was interrogated. Police are confident that he is well aware of other doctors who were involved in the racket and he could help them in identifying the rest of the accused.
The investigating officers came to know that Biswas used to give threats to relatives and family members of patient who had raised their voice against the misdeed taking place in the nursing home. He had allegedly even threatened to kill someone if they dared to go to the police.
CID had earlier arrested another doctor – Santosh Samanta – for his alleged involvement in the racket. With the arrest of Biswas, two doctors have so far gotten arrested in this connection. CID officers suspect that more doctors would get arrested soon.
Late Saturday night, CID also arrested Basanti Chakraborty, an employee of the NGO, who had brought the ten children to the old age home at Thakurpukur. Tanmoy Chakraborty, a relative of Basanti had died mysteriously in his house in South 24 Parganas. Though his family members claimed that he committed suicide, police suspect foul play.
Police came to know that Basanti visited Tanmoy’s house on Thursday and left her mobile phone. They suspect he committed suicide fearing that he would also get arrested for his links with Basanti.
CISF jawans rescue baby girl from goods train
Amidst huge furore among the people in the state over the prevalence of the international infant trafficking racket, CISF jawans on Sunday rescued a girl child from a goods train during a routine check at Farakka in Murshidabad.
The girl has been sent to a hospital for treatment. Her condition is stated to be stable now. After being informed, the railway police started a probe in this connection. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the girl might have been taken for trafficking.
Police said that the CISF jawans of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) were conducting routine check-ups in a goods train carrying coal to NTPC when they found the girl inside a wagon. The jawans informed the matter to the NTPC officials who took up initiatives so that the child could be provided medical attention. As a result, the baby was taken to NTPC owned hospital where she has been currently undergoing treatment. According to the police, no other person was found inside the wagon.
Police are investigating if the girl boarded the goods train on her own accord or if somebody had helped her to get into the train.
Police are yet to ascertain if it was case of trafficking. NTPC senior officials said that it would take the responsibilities of the girl.
Both the CISF and Murshidabad police suspect that traffickers who were there inside the train along with the girl might have fled the spot after seeing the CISF jawans conducting check-up to avoid arrest.
Police said that the goods train carrying coal reached Adhua gate of the NTPC after starting off from Matigara in Jharkhand on Sunday morning. After being informed, the NTPC officials took prompt action.
According to a senior official of the NTPC will take her responsibilities from now.
In another development, tension was triggered at Mahishbathan area of Cooch Behar after two babies were found from a woman. Police said that both the babies are two months old.
After being informed, the Child Welfare Committee asked the woman to hand over the two babies to them as she failed to provide any valid documents which can establish that the woman is anyhow related to the babies.
The accused Sathi Arya has been interrogated by the police in this connection. A probe has been initiated.
Health dept issues show-cause to Sohan Nursing Home in Baduria
The state Health department served show-cause notice to the authorities of Sohan Nursing Home at Baduria in North 24-Parganas on Sunday, seeking a valid reason as to why its license should not be cancelled by the department.
The Health department has asked the nursing home authorities to submit a report to the department within 15 days asking them to provide reasons, failing which the department may cancel the nursing home’s license.
After conducting an investigation, senior officials of the department found that Sohan Nursing Home – among a few other nursing homes in the state – did not have the minimum requisite infrastructure to run a private health establishment.
It may be recalled that the state Health department has initiated a detailed probe to examine the functioning of private nursing homes. Many nursing homes have allegedly been involved in the trafficking of newborn to other states.
According to senior Health department officials, various private nursing homes in the state are under the scanner. An investigation is underway to figure out the loopholes exploited and the modus operandi of such private nursing homes. The probe will also examine whether the private nursing homes – that have mushroomed in various parts of the city and the districts – have proper license from the Health department.
From the preliminary investigation, the department found that some nursing homes in the state have been operating without having the prerequisite infrastructure and adhering to guidelines.
According to a health department official, action will be taken against those who would be found guilty in this regard. Meanwhile, the Deputy Director Health Service (Nursing) has also been asked to carry out a probe into the incident to find out how the infants were confined in the nursing homes which were involved in trafficking racket.