Mamata calls for crackdown on child trafficking

Kolkata, March 28 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday directed the state police and the bureaucracy to monitor the issue of child trafficking and stop the traffickers at all costs.

“The police and the block development officers (BDO) have to take responsibility to thoroughly monitor the issue of child trafficking in the state. Whoever is involved in trafficking should not be spared,” Banerjee said during an administrative meeting in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district.

She also asked the other departments associated with the matter to play their role so that trafficking can be stopped.

“Apart from the police and the BDOs, those who are associated with child welfare have to look into the issue. This is also a responsibility of the Social Welfare Officers. The Women and Child Department also has to play the role they are expected to,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said.

Referring to the repeated complaints of over-charging and negligence against the medical facilities in the state, Banerjee asked the police administration to keep an eye on the patients’ grievances.

“I would request all the inspectors and officers in-charge to keep an eye on their respective local hospitals. If such cases come to the police station it has be referred to the new committee formed under respective district magistrate,” she said.

She also cautioned the administration to verify such complaints first before taking action against the accused medical facility.

“If the complaint is genuine then take appropriate action but if the complaint is not genuine, remember lodging a false complaint is also a crime,” she asserted.

Banerjee’s comments come against the backdrop of a recent crackdown at a Jalpaiguri-based child adoption centre, for its alleged involvement in several cases of child trafficking.

According to CID sources, 17 newborns were trafficked to various parts of India and abroad in the name of adoption by producing manufactured documents.

Several persons, including political leaders, child protection officers, doctors and owners of the accused child adoption centre, were arrested by the sleuths earlier this month for involvement in the case.


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