A three-storey independent bungalow just off the main road in Gurgaon’s Sector 23 attracts a fair bit of attention from passersby. With broken windows, doors taken off the hinges and the words “not for sale” spray-painted on one of the walls, the building bears a dilapidated look.
In January 2008, this bungalow became the centre of attention when the Uttar Pradesh and Gurgaon Police discovered it was being used by two doctors — Amit Kumar and Upender Kumar — to conduct kidney transplants on poor, often unsuspecting, people from UP.
Eight years on, Delhi Police uncovered another kidney racket two weeks ago — this time at Apollo hospital. Apart from the arrest of the kingpin and his middlemen, three personal assistants of senior consultants at the hospital were arrested in connection with the racket.
With the uncovering of the Delhi interstate racket, the focus has once again shifted to Gurgaon, with stories about the events that transpired in the bungalow continuing to circulate in the neighbourhood.
The bungalow stands empty, serving only as the residence of a guard who looks after the place. Sources say there have been attempts to sell the house but its history has prevented a sale. Today, the only sign of the surgeries carried out within its walls is the operating table that lies in the courtyard, visible through its gate, partly folded and covered in dust.
Harish, who lives in the area, says, “I wasn’t living in Gurgaon when the incident happened but I have heard that a doctor used to perform illegal surgeries here. It’s scary, but it also makes the house a little interesting.”
It was Manzil Saini, a 2005 batch IPS officer, who busted the racket six months into her first posting in Moradabad.
Recalling the incident, she told The Indian Express she was sitting in Kotwali police station when two persons were brought in by the chowki in-charge.
“One of them claimed he had donated his kidney after being offered money in exchange. He alleged he had not received the money he was promised,” she said, adding that the other person was a middleman.
Saini, currently posted as senior superintendent of police Lucknow, said she was shocked on seeing the victim’s condition. She discussed the issue with her senior officers, who directed her to unearth the nexus.
Saini said she travelled to four places, including Rajasthan, to investigate the case. “After conducting several raids, we came to Gurgaon where we conducted a joint raid along with local police. We managed to nab some of the doctors. The case was then transferred to the CBI within a week,” she said.
In 2013, a CBI court had convicted five accused while acquitting another five in the Gurgaon racket. Both doctors got seven-years rigorous imprisonment.