'Baby snatcher' sends CNN-IBN notice (2006) 

Posted Tuesday , June 27, 2006 at 11:02 by IBN LIVE.

New Delhi: One week after CNN-IBN exposed a Pune-based adoption agency - Preet Mandir - of violating all adoption laws and selling babies to foreigners, its Managing Director, J S Bhasin, finally surfaced.

Bhasin has sent a notice to CNN-IBN under Section 500 of the Criminal Procedure Code to withdraw their reports and refused to answer any questions regarding the investigation.

At a press conference he also said that the public must not get carried away by the CNN-IBN expose on adoption.

At present the Centre and the state government are inquiring into Preet Mandir's activities.

The Central Adoption Resource Agency has also issued show cause notice Preet Mandir.

Preet Mandir and J S Bhasin are accused of selling children to couples and Bhasin was caught on camera by CNN-IBN negotiating a deal.

Evidence that the racket has political and administrative patronage is mounting, but the police say they are unable to take any action.

"We are still looking into the matter. We will see whether we or some other authority have suo motu power to lodge the complaint. Only then can we proceed. We need a directive from the concerned authority," said Pune Police Commissioner D N Jadhav.

According to the Juvenile Justice Act, the police can crack down on the racket only when the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) asks it to.

However, the Director of CWC in Pune, A K Banerjee, himself runs an adoption agency accused of exploiting children.

"Bannerjee runs an adoption agency called Sampark, which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Children are being sexually exploited at his agency," claims Ingrid Mendonca, who works for Actions for The Right of The Child.

CNN-IBN Special Investigation Team had, in another report, also exposed that only 11 agencies in Orissa have got the license to give babies in adoption, but the number of illegal adoption centres are manifold, with Rourkella having six of them.

Reacting to the expose, Orissa Women and Child Development Minister, Pramilla Mallick and Secretary Mona Sharma had said on Friday that the state government would waste no time in acting on the matter.

They went through the evidence presented by CNN-IBN, in which at least six adoption centres in Rourkela, including Global Village and Sahayog, have sold hundreds of babies in the name of adoption.

Global village is run by an IAS officer KP Sethi.

After seeing the story, Mallick has promised that not only the running of these adoption centres but also other such illegal centres will be inquired into and tough action will be taken within a week.

Mona Sharma says that the government did not have any knowledge of such illegal adoption centres thriving in the state.

She thanked CNN-IBN for their efforts in exposing the racket and said that the evidence provided by CNN-IBN will be used for taking action against fraudulent institutions.

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