Two more arrested in Bengal for child trafficking racket

Kolkata: After the arrest of a father-son duo for allegedly using their nursing home as "safe house" for trafficking children, a couple was arrested from West Bengal's South 24-Parganas district on Sunday for facilitating such trafficking.

"Shyamal Baidya and his wife Sabitri were arrested from South 24-Pargana's Shibanipur on Sunday morning for allegedly working as go-between in multiple newborn child trafficking cases," said an officer from Falta police station.

According to the police, the couple was connected with many nursing homes in the city where these illegal dealings took place.

The accused couple, however, said they were not directly involved and claimed the child trafficking deals took place through several city doctors.

Baidya said he has given away the names of those involved in the case to the police.

"I am not aware of everything but I have told police that people used to come to the hospitals through the doctors. The doctors also brought illegitimate children from unmarried couples to the hospitals," he said.

"I have given the names of doctors who I know are involved in this case, including a doctor who practises in the Sealdah area," he added.

Meanwhile, Harisadhan Khan and Prabir Khan, who were arrested on Friday for using their nursing home as a "safe house" for trafficking children, have been sent to 12 days in police custody, the police said.

The father and son, who own the Falta-based "Jiban Deep" nursing home, were arrested based on the information gleaned from some suspects in the trafficking case.

Three babies, aged between three to six months, were recovered from a bush near Falta on November 29, prompting the police to begin the investigation.

This is the third child trafficking racket busted in the state in the past couple of months.

A number of doctors, hospital owners, nurses and attendants have been arrested by the state police's CID in November-December last year after the racket in trafficking newborn children was unearthed in North 24-Parganas district's Baduria town.

Last month, another sensational case came to light in northern West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district where six people were arrested by the CID. 

The arrested were physician Debasish Chanda, government official Mrinal Ghosh, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Juhi Chowdhury, child adoption centre Chairperson Chandana Chakraborty, who is also a primary school headmistress, and two of her aides Sonali Mondal and Manas Bhowmick.