Four minor girls who went missing from South 24 Parganas Jibantala area few months ago, has been rescued, police said on Tuesday.
These girls were allegedly forced to marry twice in a span of three months by a gang of traffickers whose two members have been arrested, police informed. “We have arrested Biswajit Halder and Payel Das on the charge of trafficking,” said the officer.
One of the girls, aged around 15-16 years, recently called up her father using the phone of a man whom she had been forced to marry. Following this, her father approached the police.
The phone number she used was traced to remote place at Uttar Pradesh. During investigation, police learnt that the girl belonged to a poor family and was close to one of her female neighbours. Further investigation led to arrest of two accused and those four girls were rescued from Uttar Pradesh.
The accused, who have been arrested, forcefully got the girl married to people there in Uttar Pradesh. The accused had received money while selling off the girl for marriage, the police added.
A case has been registered against the accused. The cases of kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage and provisions of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were registered.
“Biswajit and Payel had links with the neighbours who brought those girls to them. The other two members, who fled, took those girls to the agents. The agents took those to Uttar Pradesh for marriage,” said the officer.
South 24 Parganas police made a special team which went to Uttar Pradesh for investigation. The Uttar Pradesh police also helped them to uncover the racket. “One girl had called her father. We took the phone number and tracked the number from Kolkata,” an officer said.
In another incident, three members of a family and an ‘aya’ (nursing help) were on Tuesday arrested for allegedly trying to sell a newborn in Midinapore Medical College. Posing as customers of the newborn girl, members of a special police team arrested 51-year-old Shibani Dey, the ‘aya’, and three members of a family, SP, West Midnapore, Bharati Ghosh said.
“Three members of the family have been arrested along with the aya by our officers when they were trying to sell off the baby born to their unmarried daughter at the Medinipore Medical College,” Ghosh said.
It was learnt that Shibani was looking after the baby girl after she was born Saturday.
“As the baby was born to their unmarried girl, family members were trying to get rid of it and fixed a deal with the aya,” a senior police officer of the district said.
Learning it from a source, the special team of police contacted Shibani and struck a deal to purchase the girl at Rs 5,000, he said. When the team of police personnel reached the place, Shibani was caught red-handed with the baby, the officer said. Incidentally, parents of the minor who gave birth to the girl registered themselves as the baby’s “parents” at the Medical College.
Asked whether the case has any link to the international child racket busted by the CID from North 24 Parganas district’s Baduria, Ghosh said, “We are looking into the matter. If needed we will inform the CID.” Meanwhile, Burdwan district administration officials raided four nursing homes of the district after the state decided to increase surveillance.
Two nursing homes were sealed for violating norms and 3 persons were arrested for their alleged links to these medical facilities.