Nabadwip, July 11: The Nadia district police have busted a racket trading human skeletons illegally after raiding an isolated “char” land that recently surfaced up over river Bhagirathi on Tuesday night. So far two persons involved in the racket have been arrested. As many as 3 skulls, 38 ribs, 4 back bones, 4 shoulder bones have been seized apart from decomposed parts human carcasses, liquid chemical and gas burners from an unnamed char near Nidaya village in Nabadwip.
In 1985, India banned the trade of human bones being under pressure from human rights groups that argued the practice violated the basic principles of humanity.
Meanwhile, police charged the two arrested persons identified as Kartick Ghosh (50) and Tapas Pal (30), both residents of Purbasthali, accused by police for theft, making atmosphere noxious for health, public nuisance, receiving stolen property. They were produced before an additional district session judge’s court in Nabadwip which ordered seven days police custody.
During interrogations, the accused persons claimed that they used to supply the bones and skeletons to different medical colleges for study of the students.
Tapash and Kartick told the sleuths that they used to use the unclaimed bodies most found floating on river and dumped in roads. “They collected such bodies from different parts of Nadia, Burdwan and Murshidabad. They also had a steady supply from Balasore in Odisha. Once they get the body they decomposed it to extract the skeletons and bones using chemicals. Later the bones cleaned with caustic soda and neatly packed for supply in plastic bags”, a police officer said.
However, police yet to ascertain the veracity of their claims.
The sleuths are also examining if the racket has any link with Nepal and Bhutan where hollow human bones have great demand in monasteries as they used to blow horns and skull to drink at religious occasions.
Superintendent of police, Nadia, Rupesh Kumar said, “We have got the two accused under custody. We will interrogate them for more details and examine their claims and all other possible aspects. We are also examining if these men are involved to any big bone supply racket at the same time”.
Former principal of College of Medicine, Kalyani professor Santanu Banerjee said, “The skeletons and body remains which the students use at medical colleges mostly come through donation. The anatomy department receives the bodies and prepare for studies. Sometimes unclaimed bodies lying long at morgue also used for study at medical colleges. I never heard that skeletons are obtained from any other source”.
However, a doctor on anonymity said that private medical colleges obtain skeletons from ‘outside’. “The private medical colleges have no scope to get donate body. So they depend on outsourced skeletons”.
Acting on the tip a team of Nabadwip police led by inspector in charge Subir Pal conducted a raid at the island during the midnight and unearthed the bone racket.