The Darjeeling District Child Protection Officer Mrinal Ghosh and member of Child Welfare Committee Debasish Chanda were remanded to a six-day police custody by a local court in connection with the child trafficking and illegal adoption racket.
The order was passed by the court of Jalpaiguri Chief Judicial Magistrate Himalin Bhattacharya. Their arrest was part of a widening probe into the adoption racket at ‘Bimala Shishu Griho’, a children’s home in Jalpaiguri town in West Bengal.
The court also sent the home’s chairperson, Ms. Chandana Chakraborty, her brother Mr. Manas Bhowmik and its chief adoption officer Sonali Mondal to 14-day jail custody. They are accused of selling about 17 children, aged between 1 and 14, to foreigners by entering into shady adoption deals.
Police have charged them under IPC sections 417 (cheating), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 370 (buying or disposing of any person), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 468 (forgery) and various sections of the Juvenile Justice Act.
The probe into the case had also led to the arrest of state BJP women’s wing leader Ms. Juhi Chowdhury, who is in CID custody at Pintail village. The CID had unearthed the child trafficking racket during raids in Baduria area of North 24 Parganas district, Behala in the southern fringes of Kolkata and some other parts of south Bengal in November last year.