On Wednesday, one more person was arrested in connection with the kidney racket being busted at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi last week, taking the total number of arrests in the case to ten.
The tenth accused, Bhanu Pratap, was arrested from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. He was identified as one of the donors associated with the racket, a senior police official said.
Kingpin of the racket, Rajkumar Rao, who is believed to be associated with similar rackets in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, was arrested on Tuesday in West Bengal. Three donors, including two women, were also arrested in the case.
Rao was under police scanner for operating similar rackets in Jalandhar, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. He was identified with the interrogation of the middlemen in the racket and teams were rushed to several states to track him down.
Police had also arrested a couple Umesh and Nilu from Kanpur, and Mamta alias Maumita, wife of one of the five accused.
Umesh and Nilu told police that they had sold their kidneys for Rs 4 lakh and Rs 3 lakh respectively as they were in urgent need of money for their minor son’s leg surgery. They were in contact with a tout of the racket, Satya Prakash, who was arrested along with four others as police busted the racket last week.
Maumita, wife of another tout Devashish Moulik, had led police to make the arrests in connection with the racket.
The police said that they will also question the ten doctors of Apollo Hospital’s internal assessment committee for transplant surgeries.
Indraprastha Apollo hospital has constituted a three-member inquiry committee to study the existing system of obtaining approval for transplant of an organ in the hospital.
The police has short-listed the names of three senior doctors from the hospital’s in-house assessment committee for verifying documents related to transplants. The doctors are likely to be questioned first as they had cleared the papers in connection with the surgeries under the scanner.
The investigators have also come across names of two senior nephrologists in connection with the racket. It is suspected that a few kidney transplants which were facilitated by the racketeers were done by the doctor concerned in Apollo Hospital.
Police has so far come across five cases of kidney transplants conducted in the city through this racket and during interrogation, the accused disclosed that about 10-15 more transplants had been done at Jalandhar and Coimbatore in the past two years.
Delhi government has also set up a five-member panel to investigate the kidney racket and asked it to submit its report within 15 days.