Some employees of a nursing home in West Bengal were allegedly involved into the trafficking of newly born babies. They used to bundle the babies into biscuit cartons to transport them to a government hospital from where they were sold, said the police.
The racket was continued for years before it was finally busted. Along with the owner of the private nursing home and a woman named Nazma Bibi, six people in the case were arrested on Tuesday in 24 Parganas, some 85 km from Kolkata.
In fact, the staffers were caught red-handed when the police raided the hospital. When the officials searched a locked room used for storing medical supplies, they were stunned to see three new-born babies in biscuit cartons.
“We have rescued three new born babies. There are doctors involved in this,” said Dr Bharat Lal Meena, a senior police officer.
Police believe that young, unmarried pregnant women are paid by the clinic for not opting for an abortion. While three lakhs were paid for a baby boy, one lakh is given for a girl child.
Post the birth of the infant at the nursing home; they were shifted to a nearby state-run hospital in Basirhat for post-delivery care. From there, the babies were smuggled away in biscuit cartons.
The police also said that the nursing home staff would also sell a healthy child to couples whose newborn had died.
“We suspect that this racket was on for three years. As of now we believe at least 25 babies were sold. We are not sure of the number as we have to go through their records in our investigation,” Dr Bharat Lal Meena said.
The police also suspect the role of an NGO as a potential buyer.