The 10 baby girls rescued from an old age home in Kolkata after a child-trafficking racket was busted in West Bengal were taken to a hospital on Union Minister Maneka Gandhi’s intervention, the Ministry of Women and Child Development said on Wednesday. “Rescue operation was carried after Smt.@Manekagandhibjp instructed the WBCPCR to take suo-motu action based on news reports,” the ministry tweeted.
“All the 10 babies were placed in the ICU unit of the ESI hospital in Thakupukur for intensive medical care & protection,” Maneka tweeted.
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On November 25 CID recovered 10 baby girls from an old age home, where they were kept for sale, and exhumed bodies of two infants from the campus of an NGO in Kolkata, as part of its crackdown against a child trafficking racket in the state.
The babies were not properly looked after, which led to malnutrition and other health complications in them. The 10 rescued babies are undergoing treatment at ESI Hospital, Joka and the doctors there said their “health condition” was not sound because of the “negligent treatment” they received at the home.
According to the details shared by Maneka on twitter, the old age home, named Purbasha, had allegedly “purchased” the girls from an NGO, Sujit Dutta Memorial Trust. It was from the premises of this Trust that graves with skeletons of babies were found.
“It was informed that the babies had been kept on the top floor of the Purbasha building to be sold later. Sujit Dutta Memorial Trust at Machhlandapur, an NGO, allegedly facilitated the sale of the infants.
“The CID raid found graves, where skeleton of babies were found, in and around the Trust building,” she said in a series of tweets.
20 people have been arrested in a span of 10 days since the racket was unearthed at Baduria in North 24 Parganas.
Investigators say that over 50 infants have been sold have been sold from the home and they are trying to find the buyers. They also fear the racket may have gone international as foreign currencies in Euro, USD and Hong Kong Dollar and gold ornaments including coins worth several lakhs were seized.
The Union Woman and Child Development Ministry now plans to carry out awareness programmes to sensitise people towards adoption procedures as laid down by the law to check such crimes.
Last year the ministry had laid down new guidelines that made it mandatory for every parent seeking to adopt a child to register themselves with Central Adoption Resource Authority.
The data of all children available for adoption has to be maintained centrally by Child Adoption Resource Information Guidance System (CARINGS). Any adoption outside CARINGS is strictly prohibited.