Hours after claiming that 14 foetuses wrapped in white plastic sheets had been found in a vacant plot on the southern outskirts of Kolkata Sunday, the Kolkata Police said that the sheets actually contained only medical waste and dry ice.
The incident took place in Haridebpur. “Doctors have opined that no human tissue was found in the plastic sheets recovered from Haridebpur. The contents are being examined,” Praveen Tripathi, Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police, told The Indian Express on Sunday evening.
The plastic sheets were sent to M R Bangur Hospital for post-mortem when police were initially under the impression that they contained dumped foetuses. However, doctors unwrapped them to find medical waste and dry ice inside.
Earlier in the day, both Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Behala) Nilanjan Biswas had stated that 14 foetuses had been recovered from the plot. Chatterjee and Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar visited the spot with other police officers Sunday afternoon.
“The foetuses were soaked in chemicals, hence they didn’t emit a stench even though they had decomposed. Till now, 14 of them have been recovered. We are checking the area in case there are any more. Police suspect an illegal abortion racket. All nearby nursing homes, private hospitals and clinics are under scanner,” Chatterjee had said after his visit.
“A case has been lodged. The foetuses were found while bushes and trees on the plot were being cleared Sunday afternoon. They were wrapped in white plastic sheets and found scattered near the boundary fence. The land is marshy and filled with puddles and bushes. The foetuses may have been dumped there…We are talking to local residents. There was no source of light on the plot,” DCP Biswas had earlier said at a press conference.
The 72 cottah (around 15,840 sq. ft) plot — recently sold to a promoter for development and construction — was walled off with tin sheets.