Two Indian Orphanage Officials Arrested for Selling Babies

Published: 20 February 2017

By Karina Shedrofsky

Indian authorities arrested two orphanage officials for allegedly selling over two dozen babies and children to different parts of India, the United States and France on the pretext of adoption, local media reported.

The chairperson and chief adoption officer of Bimala Shishu Griha — a local NGO which runs a children’s home — were arrested late Saturday and early Sunday after a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team raided their offices in the Jalpaiguri district, about 370 miles south of Kalkata.

"We have arrested two officials of the NGO home and more people are detained. Interrogation is on. We are also conducting raids in different places," a senior officer of CID told Hindustan Times.

Detectives apparently had information that the NGO was trafficking children and have been surveying the organization for the past couple of months.

Juhi Choudhury, a women’s wing leader of the Bharatiya Janata political party, has also been charged in connection to the case, Hindustan Times reported.

CID detectives said the political party leader took the NGO chairperson to Delhi a number of times to meet with central government officials.

Choudhury told Hindustan Times that the NGO leader had once come to her with complaints against the state government. "I advised her to approach necessary forums. That was it," she said.

Last November the CID busted an inter-state baby trafficking ring after raiding nursing homes in Kolkata and North 24 Parganas districts. Thirteen babies were rescued and 20 people, including doctors and nursing home staff, were arrested.

In last year’s case, dark-complexioned girls were sold for anywhere between Rs 80,000 (US$ 1,195) and Rs 1 lakh (US$ 1,493.69) while fair-skinned girls were sold for as much as Rs 1.5 lakh (US$ 2,240.53). Male infants were sold for at least Rs 2 lakh (US$ 2,987.38).