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Child Smuggling Racket: Ten Newborn Baby Girls Recovered from a Private Mental Asylum “Purbasha” in South Kolkata

CID sleuths also recovered two skeletons of newborn babies from the campus of Sujit Dutta Memorial Trust

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(Representational Image) A woman with her new-born child, Wikimedia
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Kolkata, November 25, 2016: Ten newborn baby girls were recovered from a private mental asylum in south Kolkata, as the probe into the sensational child smuggling racket in West Bengal unearthed two skeletons and murkier details on Friday. A top sleuth said over 50 children could have been victims of the network.

“It seems over 50 babies could have been smuggled,” Criminal Investigation Department Additional Director General Rajesh Kumar told the media.

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Acting on a tip off, the CID officials raided Purbasha – an old age home for mentally challenged patients at Thakurpukur in Kolkata’s southern outskirts – and rescued the 10 infants.

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“We have recovered 10 girls, all of them aged between one year to 10 months, from the third floor of Purbasha. Two women, who reportedly rented the third floor of the building, had kept these infants here. We are looking for them.” Kumar said on Friday.

The kids have been admitted to hospital.

Meanwhile, CID sleuths also recovered two skeletons of newborn babies from the campus of Sujit Dutta Memorial Trust, a North 24 Parganas based NGO, that came under the scanner last Monday for its alleged involvement in the child smuggling racket.

“We got the information that some of the new born babies, who died during smuggling, were buried in the Sujit Memorial Trust ground. We conducted a raid there and exhumed two dead bodies from the campus,” Kumar said.

Two women, including Reena Banerjee, said to be the head of the asylum, have been arrested.

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Reena is the daughter of Putul Banerjee, who was arrested from south Kolkata’s Sree Krishna Nursing Home earlier this week for her alleged involvement in child smuggling.

“We have detained three women from the asylum in this case. Two of them including Reena Banerjee, the owner of the asylum, have been arrested. All three are being interrogated,” Kumar said.

“Occasionally we saw infants being brought in. Everything was done at night. We never realised they are running a child smuggling racket here,” a local resident said.

The CID busted the smuggling racket when they conducted a raid in Baduria-based Sohan Nursing Home in North 24 Parganas district on Monday and recovered three babies.

The officials also arrested eight persons from the nursing home, the NGO and a nearby health clinic named Baidya clinic.

Five more persons were arrested since then in two separate raids in two city nursing homes — Sree Krishna Nursing home in college street and South View Nursing Home in Behala — in connection with the case.

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Indicating international dealings, foreign currencies were also seized from the house of the owner of one of the nursing homes.

“We have also recovered Rs 15,000 in cash, foreign currency such as US dollars, Euro and Hong Kong dollars and gold ornaments from the house of Partha Chatterjee, owner of College Street-based Sri Krishna Nursing Home.” (IANS)

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Journalist Killing Protest Creates Chaos, Leads to Shutdown in Tripura

Many activists of different political parties were injured in clashes as the BJP, Congress and other parties called a shutdown on Thursday to protest the killing of a journalist by a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) trooper

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Journalist killing
Journalist killing leads to clashes in Tripura. IANS.

Agartala, Nov 23: Many activists of different political parties were injured in clashes while normal life was hit in Left ruled Tripura as the BJP, Congress and other parties called a shutdown on Thursday to protest the killing of a journalist by a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) trooper.

“Around 25 activists of different political parties including BJP and CPI-M were injured following the clashes in various places across Tripura,” a police official said.

Police said around 600 activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other parties were arrested for picketing in front of government offices in different parts of the state.

Most of the government, semi-government, private offices, educational institutions, shops and business establishments were closed due to the strike called by the BJP, the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura.

Banks and financial institutions were also closed in view of the shutdown, which was opposed by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front.

All vehicles, except those of security forces, went off the roads. The bandh did not affect flights and train services in and out of Tripura.

“The strike was successful and spontaneous,” state BJP President Biplab Kumar Deb said.

Security forces led by senior police officials have been deployed across the state to prevent any untoward incident.

According to police, TSR Second Battalion Rifleman Nandu Kumar Reang shot dead Sudip Datta Bhowmik, 50, at Radha Kishore Nagar, 25 km from Agartala, following an altercation on Tuesday. Reang was the bodyguard of Second Battalion Commandant Tapan Debbarma. The slain journalist had gone to meet Debbarma at the battalion headquarters.

Police have arrested both the trooper and the Commandant. The Chief Judicial Magistrate here sent the duo to 10 days in police custody.

The state government, which has handed over the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), also constituted a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident.

Bhowmik, who was a reporter with “Syandan Patrika” and television channel “Vanguard”, is survived by his wife, a government teacher, and two children.

Most of the local newspapers left their editorial blank on Thursday with a thick black border to register their strong protest over the killing.

Numerous theories and claims have surfaced regarding the reason behind the journalist’s killing, the second incident involving a media man in the state. Earlier, 28-year-old TV reporter Santanu Bhowmik was hacked to death while covering an event of a tribal party at Mandai in western Tripura on September 20.

“Syandan Patrikaa” editor and Tripura Newspaper Society President Subal Kumar Dey alleged that his reporter was targeted by the commandant as the former had written many stories against him in the newspaper.

“It was a pre-planned cold-blooded assassination and they tried to hide the body to destroy evidence. Bhowmik was killed as he had exposed the TSR commandant’s illegal acts,” Dey told the media.

Police, however, claim Bhowmik had stolen an envelope containing a huge amount of money or some confidential documents from Debbarma’s table while the latter was in the toilet after their meeting in the office chamber.

Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, who is now in Delhi, has said that he will submit a report to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Bhowmik’s killing.

With the state Assembly polls due in February, the journalist’s murder has heated up the political atmosphere in the Left ruled state.

The ruling CPI-M criticised the BJP for politicising the killing of the journalist.

“The ‘bandh’ called by BJP is totally undemocratic. It would hamper normal lives and especially the annual examinations started in schools and ongoing revision of electoral rolls for the next Assembly elections,” CPI-M Central Committee member Gautam Das said.

The Congress has demanded a high-level inquiry into the murder. The BJP has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

Various journalists organisations in the northeast including the Tripura Working Journalists Association, Tripura Journalists Union (TJU) and the Agartala Press Club have also denounced the killing and demanded a probe.

The TJU has also demanded the resignation of the state Home Minister, a portfolio held by Sarkar. (IANS)