Kolkata child trafficking case: Adoption to be tougher now

CM Mamata Banerjee asks officials to come up with stringent steps to curb child trafficking.

Kolkata: Anguished and angered by the discovery of several infant trafficking rackets in the city and other parts of the state, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to make adoption process much tougher to prevent its misuse.

Ms Banerjee who has been unhappy with the failure of the child development department, to have any clue about the rapid growth in the state, about the reprehensible baby trade had discussed the issue with chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee and home secretary Moloy De at Nabanna on Monday and asked them to come up with stringent measures to curb infant trafficking.

Reiterating government’s resolve to curb baby trafficking, minister of state for health and child development Shashi Panja, hinted at making certain changes in the adoption process on Tuesday.

Home secretary Moloy De, IG CID (II) Jawed Shamim, secretary, women & child development & social welfare department, Roshni Sen and representatives of Unicef held a meeting at the state secreteriat Nabanna on Thursday, where it was decided that the state government will make adoption process transparent.

Now couples wanting to adopt children will have to go through a strict police verification. “We are also trying to develop a follow-up mechanism so that the state administration can keep a vigil on the upbringing of the children in foster homes. Not only the fosters parents but the adoption agencies will also come under the police scanner. These rules and regulations are already there. Now we will ensure that these laws are strictly followed,” a state government official said.

Elaborating on the mechanism to monitor the children who are adopted, a top Nabanna official said that the police stations will keep a detailed list of the adopting parents and their children. “They will visit the families and have a reality check. If the parents move out, they will have to give prior information to the police,” he added.

Meanwhile, acting on a tip-off a special team of district police raided the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital and arrested the mother and grand parents of a newborn girl child. They were trying to sell her off with the help of the hospital ayah for Rs 5000. The maid was also arrested.

The district magistrate of Burdwan Saumitra Mohan conducted a surprise inspection in several nursing homes following the arrest of a maid for smuggling a newborn out of a private nursing home and selling her to a childless couple for Rs 10000.

Accompanied by chief medical officer of health of Burdwan, Pranab Roy, Mr Mohan sealed the Sims Nursing Home, Parbirhata after finding several irregularities. Later, Nababhat Nursing Home was also closed down when pouches of blood and expired lifesaving drugs were found in a refrigerator. Manager Sohail Mollah was detained. The DM later sealed the operation theatre in another nursing home.

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