The Special Task Force of the Crime Branch in India has arrested five persons of a family, including a woman, in connection with an illegal kidney transplantation carried out at a hospital in Colombo recently.
The Times of India quoted Crime Branch sources as saying the family lured a 20-year-old youth, Kanhu Behera of Phulbani, to sell his kidney for Indian Rs 3.5 lakh to one of their family members. The Crime Branch action followed a complaint lodged by sub-collector (Phulbani) Balaram Mallik on July 13. The sub-collector received complaints from local sources and lodged a complaint with the Crime Branch.
ADG (Crime Branch) B K Sharma said Kanhu’s kidney was transplanted onto Mahendra Pattnaik, one of the accused.
Pattnaik’s relatives Trinath Pattnaik and Kiran Pattnaik lured Kanhu to sell his kidney to the former. The kidney recipient’s wife, Sulata, and elder brother Rajendra also abetted the illegal sale and transplantation, said Sharma.
“The accused also prepared fake certificates and showed that Kanhu is an adopted son of Pattnaik’s mother. They also furnished the fake documents and managed to get a passport for Kanhu,” said Sharma.
“They chose to conduct the kidney transplantation outside India in view of stringent laws of human organ transplantation in the country. They tried in some hospitals in India, but were denied. The accused decided to do the transplantation in Sri Lanka,” said Sharma.
Asked about the laws in Sri Lanka, Sharma said the matter is being investigated. “We do not know why the accused chose Colombo for the kidney transplant. So far, we have not examined anybody in Colombo. We will do it soon,” said Sharma. Soon after the arrest, the police granted bails to Pattnaik and his wife Sulata on health grounds. Crime Branch said it would turn the heat on those government officers, who helped the accused prepare fake documents.
The incident came close on heels of two kidney scandals, reported in Cuttack last year. While police arrested several persons, the enforcement directorate (ED) is looking into the money trail of the scams.