WB: Darjeeling District Child Protection Officer held in child trafficking case

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Jalpaiguri (WB): The CID has arrested the head of a child protection agency in Darjeeling and a member of a child welfare committee on charges of selling babies and children, some to foreigners, through questionable adoption deals, police said.

They said that Mrinal Ghosh, the Darjeeling District Child Protection Officer, and Debashish Chandra, a district Child Welfare Committee member, were initially detained and questioned at Pintail village in Siliguri yesterday, and subsequently arrested.

Their arrest is part of a widening probe into the adoption racket at the Bimala Shishu Griho, a children’s home in Jalpaiguri town.

The probe had previously led to the arrest of state BJP women’s wing leader, Juhi Chowdhury, and three others. They include Sonali Mondal, the chief adoption officer of the children’s home, the home’s chairperson Chandana Chakraborty and her brother Manas Bhowmik.

They have been charged with selling about 17 children, aged between 1 and 14 years, to foreigners by entering into shady adoption deals. The CID have not disclosed the sections under which the accused have been charged.

The CID unearthed the child trafficking racket during raids at homes and nursing homes in Baduria area of North 24 Parganas district, in Behala in the southern fringes of Kolkata and some other parts of south Bengal in November last year.

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