Only Medical Waste, Says Kolkata Police After Panic About Dead Babies

Police officials and local media reports had earlier said decomposing bodies of 14 newborns had been found in the area.

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Only Medical Waste, Says Kolkata Police After Panic About Dead Babies

Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee and police commissioner too visited the spot.

Kolkata: 

Highlights

  1. Plastic bags found at empty plot in Kolkata did not contain bodies: Cops
  2. Had earlier said decomposing bodies had been found during cleaning drive
  3. Kolkata mayor and police commissioner too visited the spot

For a few hours on Sunday, the city of Kolkata was unwittingly sucked into a macabre comedy of errors. Hours after the city's mayor declared that the bodies of 14 newborn babies were found in an empty, overgrown plot of land on the city's southern fringe, doctors who opened up plastic bags containing the so-called bodies for post mortem found only medical waste.

"When doctors opened the packets, they found no human tissue," said Nilanjan Biswas, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Haridevpur area where the incident took place.

"What material we don't know. We have sent for forensic teams. May be medical waste but we can't say before forensic," he added.

Earlier in the day, the officer held a news conference and said, "We will send the plastic bags for post mortem. Only then will we understand if the babies were premature, whether they died before birth or after."

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The plastic bags were found during a cleaning drive at an empty plot in Kolkata's Haridebpur area.

The police version of events was possibly based on what the mayor of Kolkata said. Even earlier in the day, mayor Sovan Chatterjee came to the scene of the so-called crime and related in graphic detail that 14 newborn infants had been found dead while trying to clear the jungle on that unused plot of land.

"I was told in the morning by the local councillor Shoma Chakraborty that this area had turned into a jungle and while clearing it for development, several infants were found, wrapped in plastic, preserved with chemicals so there is no smell. The police commissioner came, the DC came. Till now bodies of 14 babies have been found," Mr Chatterjee said on record.

On camera, someone was heard saying "newborn babies". Mr Chatterjee corrected his statement and said, "newborn babies".

After the police clarification on the issue, the mayor has been incommunicado till last reports. So was councillor Shoma Chakraborty.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's reaction to the hoax, as it were, is not known. But it is unlikely she will be amused. Especially since all of Bengal is still recovering from the shock of the horrific murder of a bank employee in Howrah last week.

The bank employee's body was found beheaded and de-limbed in a plastic bag by the roadside. Later, his body parts were found not far away and the murder traced to a tailor who had borrowed money from the bank, was unable to pay back and when the bank employee came calling for dues, he stuck him dead, hacked him, hid his victim and sat down for lunch without batting an eyelid. He has since been arrested.

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