Newborns stolen and then smuggled in biscuit cartons in West Bengal!
One of the babies was born a few hours ago!
In a shocking piece of news, the West Bengal police were stunned when they found 3 babies instead of biscuits in cartons at a government-run hospital in West Bengal.
The police say that the babies were bundled into biscuit cartons by the staff at a nursing home and then sent by road to the government hospital. The police found the babies when they raided the private nursing home, owned by a woman identified as Nazma Bibi, and were searching a locked room that was used to store medical supplies.
The nursing home is situated in Bhaduria in 24 Parganas, 85 km from the state capital of Kolkata. Shockingly, one of the babies had been delivered just hours earlier.
"We have rescued three newborn babies. There are doctors involved in this," said Dr Bharat Meena Lal, a senior police officer incharge of the investigation.
Police also believe that the babies belonged to young, unmarried women who were paid by the clinic to not abort the baby. Sometimes they would be stolen as well and the couple would be told that they had a stillborn.
The good news is that one of the stolen newborn, a girl, has been reunited with her parents.
"We fear that at least 45 newborns were trafficked by the gang over the past two years. The clinics were paid 200,000 rupees ($2,900) for a boy and half of that for a girl. Some of the women admitted that they were told by the nursing home that they have given birth to stillborn babies. Investigators have obtained evidence that babies born in this nursing home had been trafficked to several cities, including one in the US," he said.
"If a mother wanted to see her baby, the nursing home employees would tell her that it would be a scary sight. Most of the time parents would return home without seeing their babies," he added.
Police also suspect that the racket has been going on for the last two years and after these babies were born, they would be shifted to the government-run hospital for post-delivery care. They would then be smuggled to unknown destinations and sometimes to couples who couldn't have a baby or were infertile.
"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.We have traced three couples who were victims of this racket and one couple has been reunited with their baby," Dr Bharat Lal Meena said.
Not the only case
Surprisingly, this is n0t the first time police have busted a newborn trafficking racket. In April 2016, the Madhya Pradesh police have busted a "secret baby farm" which was being operated by a private hospital in Gwalior district. The main objective of the farm was to sell and swap unwanted newborn babies for Rs 1 lakh each.
The babies sold at the hospital were mostly born out an illicit relationship, unwed mothers or rape. The hospital named Palash was in Gwalior's Murar area and two newborns were rescued from it at the time of the police raid.
There was a whole set up to woo girls to get admitted and get their babies delivered.
"When a girl or her parents approached them for termination of pregnancies, doctors at this hospital used to convince them assuring a safe and secret delivery. Once baby is delivered and mother gets discharged, hospital authorities start hunting for gullible couples who could buy them," said an investigating officer.