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BJP expels Juhi Chowdhury arrested for child trafficking

The Bengal unit of the BJP on Wednesday removed Juhi Chowdhury from the position of a state secretary of its mahila morcha following her arrest in a child trafficking case. Her father Rabindranath Chowdhury was also removed from his position in the state committee, both for an indefinite period.

Chandana Chakraborty who headed the NGO that ran the child care home in Jalpaiguri 600 km from Kolkata had told the police that Ms Chowdhury, the district women’s wing chief, had reached out to the BJP’s Roopa Ganguly and Kailash Vijayvargiya for help.

Chowdhury was apparently on the run after her name cropped up in the case and the police located her at the Batasia area close to the Indo-Nepal border in north Bengal after tracking her mobile phone tower location. Chowdhury is being taken to Jalpaiguri district where she produced before the district court. Juhi was remanded to 12-day judicial custody by the court.

Chowdhury’s arrest comes after a Jalpaiguri-based child adoption center came under the police scanner. The child trafficking racket was busted last week when the state CID arrested Chandana Chakraborty, chairperson of an NGO that runs the adoption center Bimala Sishu Griho. The center’s Chief Adoption Officer Sonali Mondal and Chandana’s brother Manas Bhowmick were also arrested for allegedly selling at least 17 children through illegal means.

Juhi is the fourth person arrested in the Jalpaiguri district case which has created a storm in West Bengal with its political connotations.

Reacting over the arrest, the party’s state chief Dilip Ghosh accused the CID of acting as a wing of the TMC.

“It seems a conspiracy has been hatched by the TMC government to malign our party leaders. The CID is working as a party wing of TMC,” he said.

However, BJP removed Chowdhury from all party posts following her arrest.

“We have removed her from all party posts, as allegations have been raised against her. But she will remain a party worker. We will provide her legal help if needed,” Ghosh said.

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