scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Kolkata ‘child trafficking’ case: Police press rape charge, say children were sexually abused

The case has kicked up a political row with the BJP alleging the involvement of a TMC leader and demanding a fair probe.

Written by Sweety Kumari | Kolkata |
November 22, 2021 3:42:29 am
Police said the government official is the main accused, while the woman had been running the adoption centre for the past five to six years.

With the arrest of 10 people in the alleged child trafficking racket operated from an adoption centre in Kolkata, police have invoked the rape charge, among others, in the case.

The case has kicked up a political row with the BJP alleging the involvement of a TMC leader and demanding a fair probe.

Police on Saturday arrested the accused — including the daughter-in-law of a former top civic official, and a senior government official — in the case.

The former civic official has been questioned.

Police said the government official is the main accused, while the woman had been running the adoption centre for the past five to six years.

At least 20 children were rescued from the centre.

The accused were produced before a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) court on Saturday. Three of them were remanded in police custody for three days, and the rest in 14-day judicial custody.

The next date of hearing is December 4.

Police said the children of the centre were not only tortured but also sexually abused. “The accused persons have been booked under IPC sections 376 A&B and 376-2D (rape); POCSO sections 4,6 and 17; and section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act. No one connected to this case will be spared. We will go deep to dig out the nexus,” said a senior police officer.

What blew the lid off the case was a complaint received by the ‘Nabanna’ state secretariat a few days ago from a woman who had adopted a girl. The girl had told her mother she was sexually abused at the centre before her adoption.

A care giver, who has worked at the centre, told The Indian Express: “ I could only see a few children. Before the lockdown, I had heard there were many, but when I joined I could only see a few of them and I used to take care of a child who was two and a half years old. The adoption centre was closed by police on Saturday.

Residents living near the adoption centre told The Indian Express that they could at time music blaring from the top floor.

“On Friday, I saw some children were being taken in a police vehicle, and the gates of the centre were locked. Looked like a secret mission by police,” said a resident who lives next to the centre.

A police officer said he was not aware where the rescued children had been taken. “The shifting is done by top people. We have no information,” said the officer.

Meanwhile, BJP workers protested outside the centre, demanding a fair probe and arrest of all the people involved in the case.

“Police are trying to suppress the matter. We will continue our protest against illegal activities inside such homes and centres. We want police and administration to make CCTV footage of the home public. Who have visited this centre and their movements can be checked through the footage. When a member of the ruling party is involved, how can you expect police to do a fair probe,” said a BJP leader who later met a top police officer.

“He (the officer) said it is just the tip of the iceberg. He has assured that anyone having any link to this case will face action,” said the leader.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Kolkata News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement