Four more persons including a doctor were arrested in connection with an inter-state newborn trafficking racket in Baduria on Wednesday. Eight people had been arrested after a raid on Monday.
“After prolonged interrogation, Dr Santosh Kr Samantha (60), a resident of Jessore Road, and three women were arrested today,” said Bharat Lal Meena DIG (CID).
Dr Samanta, attached to Sri Krishna Nursing Home, was arrested in the evening after being detained for several hours, said police.
Parmita Chatterjee, Prabha Parmanik and Putul Banerjee were arrested earlier in the day, said a CID official.
The racket was allegedly being carried out by two private clinics in Baduria, North-24 Parganas, with the help of an NGO for the past three years. CID officials and local police raided Baidya Clinic and Sohon Nursing Home in Bagjola locality of Baduria on Monday night.
Sleuths had recovered three newborns, two of whom were found hidden in a biscuit carton at Sohon Nursing Home. The third baby was returned to her mother, identified as Sahida Bibi, a resident of Deganga who had allegedly been told that she had delivered a stillborn.
“We got their (the women’s) names after interrogating those arrested from the locality. All these women are linked to different nursing homes running in the metropolis,” an IPS officer said.
Police are also interrogating retired doctors from government hospitals. “They claim they had no knowledge of the trafficking racket. They have said that they were simply delivering these babies,” said a senior police officer.
On Monday, the CID and the police had arrested Satyajit Sinha, Nazma Bibi, Baikbul Baidya alias Baikbul Sheikh, Utpala Byapari, Prabhat Sarkar, Jhantu Biswas and Asadur Jaman under sections 369 (kidnapping or abducting child under 10 years with intent to steal from its person), 370 (trafficking) 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and 34 of CrPc,” said DIG (CID) B L Meena.
Their modus operandi, the police said, was to target unmarried mothers and impoverished parents, and convince them to “sell” their unwanted newborns to childless couples using fake documents.
Sometimes, they even resorted to smuggling babies after duping their mothers into believing they had delivered stillborns, police said.
Eight people, including two women, were already arrested in connection with the racket on Monday.
According to sources, the racket was being executed with the help of Sinha’s NGO called Subodh Memorial Trust. Sinha would allegedly bring in childless couples under the guise of facilitating adoptions. The main trafficker, Nazma Bibi, wife of Bakbul Baidya who owned Baidya Clinic, used to look after the overall operation of the racket.