A complaint lodged by daily-wage earner Santosh Gawli in Akola police station in India has exposed an international kidney racket linking to Sri Lanka. reports the New Indian Express.
This was exposed after the individual called ‘Gawli’ in his complaint said that an Indian PAN card agent, Devendra Shirsat, had cheated him of `1 lakh (Indian Rupees) and said he travelled to Sri Lanka to sell his kidney. They could not understand how a daily wage earner could afford to visit a foreign country. When they started investigating, they stumbled upon an international racket of smuggling human kidneys, according to the NIE.
Shirsat had taken Gawli to Sri Lanka and had promised to pay him `4 lakh for his kidney, but paid just `3 lakh. This made Gawli lodge the complaint.
Gawli had agreed to sell his kidney to repay `20,000, which he had taken from moneylender Anand Jadhav. Jadhav had made Gawli and Shirsat meet, and had told Gawli that he would have to sell his kidney to repay the debt.
BJP leader and MLC from Buldhana, Pandurang Phundkar, says that moneylenders are forcing the poor to sell their kidneys. “If the poor refuse, the moneylenders threaten to take possession of their homes. Even if a poor is promised `4 lakh for his kidney, moneylenders and their agents earn over `10 lakh for one kidney. In the Legislative Council, I’ll demand stern action against moneylenders,” he said.
Shirsat and Jadhav have been arrested. Superintendent of Police Chandrakishore Meena said at least five more victims of the kidney racket have lodged complaints after the duo’s arrest. “According to law, a kidney donor has to appear before the district medical council with a will to donate his organ. Organ donation has to be voluntarily. Indian kidney donation laws are very strict and do not allow any transaction of money,” Meena said.
Shirsat’s interrogation led the police to Shivaji Koli, mastermind of the racket. Koli, who works as a laboratory assistant in Walva, Sangli, has contacts in Mumbai, Pune and in Gulf countries for selling kidneys. He travelled to Sri Lanka several times and has earned a lot of money.
“Koli has an updated knowledge on kidney transplantation and laws pertaining to it. He can recall several hundred phone numbers of his clients in India and abroad. His habit of not writing the numbers anywhere had become a hurdle in our investigation,” a police officer said.
Maharashtra Health Minister Deepak Sawant said: “We have recommended that the Union government tighten the laws to prevent malpractices in organ transplantation.” (NIE)