A nursing home’s owner and a doctor were arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department of West Bengal Police in relation with the inter-state child smuggling racket that was busted two days back here, a senior CID official said on Thursday.
“The owner of Sri Krishna Nursing Home on College Street have been arrested along with Dr Santosh Kumar Samanta for their involvement in the racket,” Deputy Inspector General of Police (Criminal Investigation Department of West Bengal Police) Bharatlal Meena said.
With these arrests, the total number of people nabbed in the sensational case involving several nursing homes in Kolkata and adjacent districts has shot up to 13.
Eight persons, including a doctor, two quacks and an owner of Sohan Nursing Home – suspected to be the centre of the crime – were arrested from Baduria in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Tuesday for allegedly running the racket.
CID sleuths detained one woman from the same nursing home and two more from Behala based South View Nursing Home on Wednesday. They were arrested later.
The arrested people were connected to three nursing homes, a health clinic and a North 24 Parganas-based non government organisation. The number of arrests may go up with the investigators suspecting the involvement of more city based health facilities in the racket.
The matter came to light on Tuesday, when acting on a tip off, CID personnel raided Sohan Nursing Home and Polyclinic in North 24 Parganas district’s Baduria on Monday night and recovered three infants who were about to be smuggled out, the officer said.
The culprits used to tell the parents that the newborns have died and then smuggle the infants inside biscuit packages via the NGO, Meena said.
The racket was going on for almost three years and police fear they trafficked around 25-30 infants in that period. Some of the infants were trafficked to other states as well, he said.
The arrested people have been slapped with various charges like kidnapping (IPC 369), exploitation (IPC 370) and criminal conspiracy (IPC 120B).