Rajya Sabha MP and Mahila Morcha President Roopa Ganguly and BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. (Photos: PTI)
Jalpaiguri: The BJP has suffered a major setback as the key accused in the alleged child-trafficking case in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri has claimed that party national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and president of party’s women’s wing in the state Roopa Ganguly were involved in the racket.
According to reports, accused Chandana Chakraborty on Tuesday alleged that West Bengal Mahila Morcha general secretary Juhi Chowdhury lobbied with Ganguly and Vijayvargiya to "resolve some issues" about her shelter home.
Chowdhury had sought the two BJP leaders' help to influence Ministry of Women and Child Development’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) to grant a central aid of Rs 22.5 lakh to her shelter home 'Ashray', renew its licence. She had also sought retransfer of 14 children, who were sent to other child care homes after district Child Welfare Committee noted irregularities at 'Ashray'.
Chowdhury allegedly offered expensive gifts to Vijayvargiya and Ganguly in return for the favours.
Vijayvargiya has refuted the allegations, claiming the Kolkata Police is "being controlled by Trinammol Congress" and it is "conspiring against me".
The West Bengal Crime Investigation Department (CID) has, however, claimed that it has audio evidence of conversation between Chowdhury and Vijayvargiya's secretary. It is likely to summon Ganguly, Vijayvargiya and his secretary.
The West Bengal CID on Tuesday night arrested Chowdhury from the Batasia area close to the Indo-Nepal border in North Bengal for her alleged involvement in the Jalpaiguri child-trafficking case.
With Chowdhury's arrest, a total of four people have so far been arrested in connection with the case for their alleged involvement in selling of babies and children across India and also to foreign couples in the last few months from an NGO Bimala Sishu Griho.
Sonali Mondal, Chief Adoption Officer the NGO, Chandana Chakraborty, Chairperson of Bimala Sishu Griho and Manas Bhowmik, Chandana's brother, were arrested by a seven-member CID team.
The three were charged with selling at least 17 children, aged between 1-14 years, to foreign buyers at high price while falsely claiming that the children were handed over for legal adoption to needy couples after due screening and official procedures.
CID sources said Chowdhury was being brought to Jalpaiguri for further interrogation and would be produced before the District Court tomorrow.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh has already said the party was looking into the allegations against Chowdhury and would take action if she was found guilty.
The CID blew off the lid of a child trafficking racket conducting raids in homes and nursing homes in Baduria of North 24 Parganas district, in Behala in the southern fringes of Kolkata and some other parts of south Bengal since November last year.