Four persons, including a woman, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the illegal sale and purchase of kidneys. Police suspect the racket is spread across various states, as well as many hospitals in the capital. JCP (crime) Praveer Ranjan said that after conducting raids, they have arrested Jayant Sahoo (32), Sulekha Panda (27), Anoj Patra (33) and Birju Paswan (45). “Patra used to take care of the donors and Paswan was involved in preparing fake documents,” he said.
Police said the gang was busted after one Jaideep Sharma, a 23-year-old MBA student from Pune’s Symbiosis College, Googled how one could earn money by donating their kidney after his friend, Rajesh, mentioned it. “He later received a call from a person, Imtiaz, in September, 2016, but didn’t pay heed to it. Later, when Rajesh went missing under mysterious circumstances, he decided to track down Imtiaz. Imtiaz asked Jaideep about his family, income and the reasons for donating his kidney. After Imtiaz was sure about Jaideep’s antecedents, he put him in touch with Arun Das and, eventually, to one Jayant Sahoo,” Ranjan said.
Later, a deal was struck at Rs 4 lakh and Jaideep was called to Delhi from Pune. On April 13, Jaideep met Crime Branch officials with the help of a journalist, in order to expose the racket. A sting operation was then set up by the Crime Branch and the channel, News24. “The complainant was given a fake identity with ID cards, so he could pass off as a member of the recipient’s family. The gang targeted helpless families looking for kidney donors. The accused charged a huge amount of money from the families in exchange for documentation and formalities,” the JCP said.
“Jaideep was given spy devices and what followed was 40 days of surveillance. The accused kept him in Hauz Rani along with other potential donors. He met a woman, Sulekha Panda, who used to apprise donors about the tests they would be made to undergo and the treatment ahead,” Ranjan said. Jaideep also met the family of the person who was supposed to receive his kidney. The family is from Andhra Pradesh and Jaideep was given a “makeover” — from a haircut to his complexion — so that he could pass off as a resident of that state, police said.
A fake certificate showing Jaideep had passed his Telugu language exam was also prepared. His photo was morphed using features from the photograph of the recipient’s son. He was then taken to Batra Hospital where his documents were submitted, police said. Some doctors might be called for questioning, police said.
Despite it being mandatory that the donor should undergo tests at the hospital where the transplant happens, Jaideep was made to undergo tests at a diagnostic centre in Saket. He was told the surgery would take place Thursday. The medical director, Batra Hospital & Research Centre, said, “Batra Hospital conducts all renal transplants fairly and under strict supervision… All the transplant act guidelines are followed. All documents are checked. There is no involvement of the hospital in any wrongdoing. The hospital has and will fully cooperate with police.”