Lid blown off trafficking racket after serial weddings

North 24 parganas district

North 24 parganas district (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FROM THE ARCHIVES – PUBLISHED IN TIMES OF INDIA   MARCH 26,2010

KOLKATA: For years, Tarapada Biswas’s house at Basirhat’s Charghat, in North 24-Parganas, had been the talk of the town. Hardly a day passed without a wedding ceremony being held there. On Wednesday, however, the secret

behind the “much-married” house came out. The wedding ceremonies were no more than a cover for an elaborate woman-trafficking racket.

The weddings at Biswas’s home had one thing in common. The grooms were mostly from UP and Haryana. Most brides, however, were from Bangladesh infiltrators, as it turned out. It was a complaint from one such woman on Wednesday that unearthed the racket.

The woman alleged in her complaint with Swarupnagar police that she feared of being trafficked to Haryana. Police raided Tarapada’s house, arrested Mukesh Chomar (22), the sham groom from Haryana. On interrogating him, it was found that a flesh trade supply racket had been in operation from the house for four years. Ironically, the woman whose complaint unearthed the racket herself landed in police custody, charged with illegally crossing the border. Prime accused Tarapada and his wife, though, were not found and police have launched a hunt for them.

The racket came to light after the girl from Bangladesh refused to marry a groom from Haryana, saying she had no plans of marrying outside Bengal.

During their investigations, police learnt that Biswas had strong links with an Uttar Pradesh-based gang. Girls aged between 18 and 25 were brought either from Bangladesh or from rural hamlets of Basirhat and Bongaon to tie the knot with sham grooms from north India.

Biswas charged anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 for each wedding, in which he would act as marriage registrar and organise a ceremony complete with rituals, followed by dinner for guests. Though the frequent weddings did raise neighbours’ eyebrows, they preferred to leave him alone, especially as he didn’t socialise much.

Some neighbours had even gone to police with complaints, but there was no written complaint till Wednesday, said the cops. Some of the brides’ families, too, had occasionally complained that they were unable to trace their daughters after the marriage, but again, none was a written complaint.

“Biswas had even refused to speak to the fathers of several girls who had such complaints,” said an officer of Swarupnagar police station.

FROM THE ARCHIVES – PUBLISHED IN TIMES OF INDIA   MARCH 26,2010

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