New Delhi (Sputnik) — Police in India's eastern state of West Bengal has rescued 13 babies from child traffickers. It also recovered the remains of two infants in a series of raids in past 10 days. The police have arrested 18 including doctors, midwives, owners of charity organizations and medical clinics in two districts of the state.
The suspects would steal babies from unwed mothers or women who delivered at the clinics, but were told their infants were stillborn. The babies were later smuggled into biscuit cartons to a nearby adoption center where they were sold off to childless couples. The police are investigating the existence of an international human trafficking racket.
According to Government data, human trafficking on the increase. There was an almost 25 percent increase in cases busted last year and about 40 per cent were cases of child trafficking. The highest number was reported in the northeast state of Assam followed by West Bengal, the state where the current cases have been reported.
West Bengal also is one of the primary hotspot for traffickers looking to supply girls and women to red-light areas as also child brides to sex-ratio skewed villages in Punjab and Haryana. The two districts, 24 North and South Parganas, where the raids are being conducted, are among the many hotspot distracts for the traffickers. These include Sunderbans, Haldia, Malda, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North Dinajpur and the fringes of Calcutta, Murshidabad and Nadia.