A massive search operation is underway to trace Juhi Chowdhury, a general secretary of BJP’s Jalpaiguri Mahila Morcha, who has been accused of helping child traffickers with her political connections. She has been missing since Saturday. According to BJP insiders, Juhi has been an active member of the party since the last few years. She started off as a member of the party’s youth wing and later joined the Mahila Morcha when it expanded. She was formally made a general secretary last year. Her father Rabindranath Chowdhury too is a BJP member. “Chowdhury has been with our party for the last 20 years. He is still a member of state committee”, said a party member.
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According to CID sources, Juhi was associated with Bimala Sishu Griho, a child care centre owned by prime accused in the case, Chandana Chakraborty. When the Union women and child welfare department denied licence to the home, Chakraborty turned to Chowdhury for help,” said an official.
Chowdhury is learnt to have taken Chakraborty along to meet a Union government official in New Delhi on February 10, 2017. This was revealed after CID officials found entry and exit receipts from North Block detailing the entries from the child care centre. Officials have also seized a laptop, which contained several fake certificates, said sources.
“They were trying to work out a communication channel with the Central Adoption Resource Authority and officials of the women and child welfare department. They were scheduled to go to Delhi again on February 19, the day when Chowdhury was arrested… Juhi She had accompanied Chandana Chakraborty twice to Delhi. She was trying to use her political links to help Chandana get documents for illegal adoption,” said an official.
“Juhi is a young face. I have come to know that Chandana Chakraborty was running this racket for more than 10 years. What I know is that Chandana had met Juhi and sought help a month ago just because she is a public figure. Juhi had asked for documents to check how genuine this woman was. It’s strange that officials acted only after Juhi’s name was dragged into it. I think she might have been framed,” said Paromita Dutta, another general secretary of BJP Mahila Morcha.
The BJP, meanwhile, accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of indulging in political vendetta.
“This has come at a time when BJP leaders are being intentionally targeted. Hence, I believe this might also be a part of the political agenda. However, our party has a set policy. Since fingers have been pointed, our party will definitely look into it. BJP won’t support anyone guilty. If the allegations are found to be true, she will be thrown out of the party,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh on Monday.
This is the second time when a BJP member have been allegedly found connected with child trafficking case in the state. Earlier, CID had arrested Dr Dilip Ghosh, a suspended party leader, in Baduria newborn trafficking case. He was among the 19 people chargesheeted in the case.