The West Bengal CID filed its first charge sheet in a Basirhat court against 19 people, including a suspended BJP leader, in connection with the the Baduria newborn trafficking case on Saturday. The racket, discovered last year, was allegedly carried out by two private clinics in Baduria, North-24 Parganas, with the help of an NGO for the past four years. Totally, 20 people were arrested in connection with the case. Sources in the agency said the investigation is still on and that there was sufficient evidence against those charge sheeted.
“In total, 19 people have been charge sheeted,” said DIG (CID- Operations) Nishat Parvez. “Supplementary charge sheet will be submitted subsequently, the investigation is still on.”
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The accused have been charge sheeted under section 367 (Kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to grievous hurt), 368 (Wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement), 315 (act done with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth), 318 (Concealment of birth by secret disposal of dead body), 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 210 (Whoever fraudulently obtains a decree or order against any person), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC along with sections under Juvenile Justice Act and Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
Those charge sheeted includes gynecologist and a BJP leader Dilip Ghosh (not to be confused with party state chief who has the same name), who had contested the last Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation polls. He was suspended from the party after his name came up in the investigation.
“We have substantial evidence against him (Dilip Ghosh). He was associated with Sri Krishna Nursing Home in North Kolkata, which used to traffic newborns for over 21 years,” said an official. “Dr Tapan Kumar Biswas and Utapala Byapari are the main accused in the chargesheet. While Byapari, associated with an NGO, was the mediator between the nursing home trafficking newborns and the client, Biswas was the mastermind.”
According to sources in the agency, Dr Nityananda Biswas has been discharged. The racket, which had hit headlines last year, targetted unmarried mothers and poor parents and convinced them to sell their newborns on fake documents, police said. Sometimes they used to smuggle newborns after informing their parents that they were stillborn, officials added.
Ten babies were rescued from an old age home in Kolkata and officials had exhumed bodies of two infants from compound of an NGO named as Sujit Memorial Trust at Machlandapur in Habra, allegedly involved in the racket.
“Several nursing homes, clinics and NGOs were found to be involved in the racket and whenever babies died while being shifted from one place to another, these traffickers used to bury them”, said an official.
The racketeers sold baby boys for Rs 2 lakh and baby girls for Rs 1 lakh, police said.