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Sold Infants

House Of Flying Cots

The sordid child trafficking racket uncovered in north Bengal has a political overtone. More ghastly are hints of complicity at various levels.

House Of  Flying Cots
Photograph by S. Majumdar
Ashray, the women’s shelter owned by Chandana Chakraborty in Jalpaiguri
House Of Flying Cots
outlookindia.com
2017-03-11T11:50:50+05:30

On January 20, 2017, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), the Indian government’s regulatory body for adoptions, sent a letter to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the West Bengal police’s detective department. The letter said that certain “irregularities” pertaining to a Darjeeling-based destitute women’s shelter and children’s home had come to the notice of CARA, and it urged the Bengal sleuths to initiate a probe. Acc­ording to sources, CARA’s suspicions were raised when it found that a number of backdated adoption registration forms were being hurrie­dly uploaded on to its website in a short span of time. CARA’s cyber-crime wing traced it back to a server in the Darjeeling-Jalpaiguri area in north Bengal.

Between the letter’s arrival and Feb­ruary 19, when, after a month-long inv­estigation, the Bengal detectives made their first arrest—of the owner of the shelter and home, Chandana Chakr­ab­orty—an unusual meeting took place at the residence of the general secretary of the district BJP women’s wing, Juhi Chowdhury. The January 25 meeting was between Juhi and Chandana, who, it has since emerged, had alleged links with local Trinamool Congress leaders.

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