Indian doctors say the plastic bags found by workers on Sunday while clearing bushes in a vacant plot of land in south Kolkata contained medical waste and not decomposed bodies of 14 babies and foetuses as alleged by police.
The City of Joy was shocked when reports emerged of the grisly discovery with Mayor Sovan Chatterjee himself confirming it after visiting the site.
Suspecting that the bodies could have been dumped by criminals involved in an illegal abortion racket, Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar visited the sport.
But instead of opening the packets to check the veracity of the reports, the police sent them straight to a hospital for post-mortem.
By evening, doctors informed the police that the packets contained medical waste and “no human tissue.”
Forensic science experts are examining the packets to identify the contents.
Reports of the plastic bags reminded people of an incident in 2016 when the CID of Bengal Police discovered two skeletons and three skulls of new-borns from the premises of a non- government organisation at Maslandapur in North 24 Parganas district.
The CID soon rounded up members of a baby trafficking gang operating there since 2014.
Some NGOs and charities in north-eastern India are under police scanner after news emerged of shelters for unwed, pregnant women selling babies for profit.
The south Kolkata incident points to another grave issue facing mega cities. Hospitals mushrooming there do not have proper system of disposing of medical waste. To cut costs in removing medical waste, they engage truck drivers who charge less but recklessly dump them in any disused land even in residential areas.
Designated dumping grounds with incinerators are few and afar. Most truck drivers save money on petrol by dumping medical waste in residential areas at an unearthly hour, posing health risk to citizens.