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22 Feb 2017

Child officer denies links with NGO

Shasmita Ghosh speaks to the media in Jalpaiguri on Tuesday.
Picture by Biplab Basak
TT, Jalpaiguri, Feb. 21: Shasmita Ghosh, the child protection officer of Jalpaiguri, today said she hadn't accepted any favour from the authorities of the shelter that is under the scanner for alleged sale of infants.
Yesterday, she was showcaused by Jalpaiguri district magistrate Rachna Bhagat, asking her to reply in 48 hours if there was any dereliction of duty on her part.
Today, Ghosh told the media: " I have sent my reply to the district magistrate. I was never involved in any illegal activity related to the shelter and children there. I have never received any favour in cash or kind from the home authorities."
Sources in the CID said they had sought permission from the superiors in Calcutta to interrogate Ghosh.
Chandana Chakraborty, the head of the North Bengal People's Development Centre, had been arrested for alleged sale of infants to couples in India and abroad. Chandana's NGO used to run the orphanage where the infants were kept.
Ghosh said she was ready to help the investigators with all possible information and necessary documents.
Sources close to her said she was smelling a conspiracy to implicate her in the case.
"While working as the child protection officer, Ghosh has faced a lot of inconveniences. She has said she did not get reports every month on the homes run by Chandana's NGO from officials concerned. Ghosh has necessary documents to validate these points before the CID," said a source.
The child protection officer has also told her colleagues that she did not get cooperation from authorities, who run such homes, on information about infants and children and whether necessary counselling and health check ups are done on a regular basis.
Ghosh also mentioned in her closed quarters that regular review meetings on child protection and development were not held on a regular basis in the district.

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