Bengal child trafficking and BJP’s women’s wing leader Juhi Chowdhury: Officers sent to police custody

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Darjeeling District Child Protection Officer Mrinal Ghosh and member of Child Welfare Committee Debasish Chanda have been remanded to a six-day police custody by a local court in connection with the child trafficking and illegal adoption racket.

Police had already arrested the alleged mastermind of the racket, Juhi Chowdhury, who functioned as BJP’s women wing’s leader in Bengal.

The order was passed by the court of Jalpaiguri Chief Judicial Magistrate Himalin Bhattacharya on Saturday.

Their arrest yesterday 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, Chandana Chakraborty, her brother 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 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.

(With PTI inputs)

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