The owner of an old age home and rehabilitation centre in south Kolkata was arrested in connection with the infant trafficking case late on Friday night. The latest development brought the total number of persons arrested in the case to 16. Police believe that the case could unravel an international racket. Bimal Adhikari, owner of Joka Millennium Old Age Home and Rehabilitation Centre in Green Park Hanspukur in Thakurpukur, has been remanded to police custody for 10 days.
Adhikari is accused of shifting 10 infants, rescued from the Purbasha centre, on November10 along with one of his alleged associates, Basanti.
Speaking to The Sunday Express, Basanti’s son Ashim Chakraborty said, “Adhikari had opened his NGO’s office at our home Matribhumi in Green Park. He was operating a home in Dostipur too, which was sealed by officials. My elederly mother Basanti had no idea that she was a part of an illegal racket. Adhikari used to tell her that he was running an adoption centre and my mother used to help him thinking that she was a part of a noble cause. She has surrendered in the local police station”. The CID, which is investigating the case, has not confirmed her surrender.
The agency also transferred 20 inmates, including children, of the Dostipur home to another home in the locality.
Basanti’s family has alleged that she wasn’t educated enough to understand the racket and never got any money from the NGO.
According to sources, Adhikari shifted his alleged operations to the Green Park locality after local residents in an earlier location grew suspicious of his activities there. To avoid a similar suspicion, Adhikari transferred 10 infants to Purbasha at Kalagachhia in Thakurpur, which were later rescued.