Kidney racket busted


LUCKNOW/CHANDIGARH: Beware of anyone who tries to befriend you next time you go to a liquor shop. He may convince you to get a minor operation done in exchange of anything between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

Lucknow police on Sunday busted a gang of four miscreants involved in arranging kidneys for the needy after luring poor people into selling theirs. Till now, they claimed to have sold kidneys to at least 7 people-all in Chandigarh.

The four were identified as Harishankar Maurya, the kingpin of the gang, Dilip Nigam, Vinod Dubey, and Harish Prajapati. Maurya, who was a private teacher about a year ago, according to Lucknow DIG D K Thakur, used to stay in Chandigarh and search for patients needing a kidney transplant. He focused on only two hospitals, Silver Oaks and Shivalik Hospital in Mohali.

After assuring a kidney to the kin of the patient, Maurya used to contact his partners-Dilip and Vinod in Lucknow. Maurya would charge over Rs 3 lakh from the patient’s kin. The duo then used to search for gullible targets near country-made liquor shops. They used to convince people to get a minor operation done and donate one kidney and get Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

Harish, who is a computer designer, used to contribute by preparing fake certificates and documents to prove that the patient and the donor were related to each other. Prima facie the involvement of the hospitals has not been ascertained, the DIG said.

Speaking to TOI at Chandigarh, Dr Arjinder Bains, a surgeon of Shivalik Hospital in Mohali, said, “A police team from Lucknow had visited the hospital a few days ago and in fact, we were the ones who helped them nab the culprits. A prospective donor had approached us and as per rules, we had sought verification of the NOC and found it to be faked. Thereafter, the donor was never operated upon.”

When contacted, Dr Akhil Bhargava, of Silver Oaks denied that any police team had visited the hospital in connection with any scam.

“There was a police team from Lucknow who had come to Mohali about four days ago in connection with an investigation of a minor who had gone missing. Upon investigation, it was found that the alleged kidnappers were staying in a hotel in Burail, Chandigarh and the team from Lucknow was asked to approach Chandigarh police,” said DSP (city) Darshan Singh Mann.

(With inputs from Abhijit Prashar in Chandigarh)

Kidney racket gang may have over 2 dozen members

LUCKNOW: While the number of victims whose kidneys were transplanted in exchange of money have been rising, the investigators have a hint that the number of miscreants, who are members of the gang, could also go beyond two-dozen.

Sources said that one of the gang members, who is still out of the police net, is supposed to be a legal luminary. It is in this regard that the police have applied for the remand of the four accused including their kingpin Harishankar Maurya, a resident of Brindawan Yojna in PGI area.

The other members of the gang were identified as Dilip Nigam, a resident of Malihabad; Vinod Dubey and Harish Prajapati, both residents of Telibagh. The police had arrested the four on December 25 and busted the kidney trade racket.

Initially, as per the miscreants’ claim, the number of people whose kidneys were transplanted in exchange of money, was believed to be only 7. However, the police search resulted in around 20 victims coming up with the same information that their kidneys were transplanted through the same gang.

During the investigation, now the police have got some information that the number of people involved in the gang is also approximately to touch two-dozen marks with Maurya as their kingpin. The police sources also said that two members of the gang are also supposed to be from Nepal.

Though the officials, when contacted by TOI, refused to confirm the number as well as about Nepal residence of two members of the gang, they said that efforts are being made to take the remand of the accused and know about the functioning of the gang. A senior official, preferring anonymity, did confirm the involvement of a legal luminary in the racket. He said that once the court opens on January 2, efforts would be made to pursue the remand application. DIG D K Thakur also said that once the police are able to get the remand of accused, a team of officials would be sent to Chandigarh to ascertain the nexus of the hospital staff with the gang members, if any.


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