The main accused in the Kidneygate scandal, Amit Kumar is said to have escaped to Canada. An ‘insider’ is supposed to have tipped him, according to the police. Meanwhile, union health minister has sought a CBI inquiry into the scandal.
IN A major development, union health minister Ambumani Ramadoss today said that centre would seek a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the kidney transplant scandal.
The government will also amend the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, to make it more transparent and punishment more stringent.
Addressing media persons, the union health minister informed that the racket involved Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana
and also had foreign links.
He said that the Organ Transplant Act would be simplified, but violators will be punished heavily.
“All organ transplants would have to be notified and all intensive care units will have to report about brain dead patients to the Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation (ORBO),” said the union minister.
In a related development, Gurgaon
police has revealed that the main accused Amit Kumar did not even have the requisite MBBS degree. This information came up after sustained questioning of Dr Jeevan, brother of main accused Amit Kumar, even he does not have the necessary medical qualifications.
Meanwhile, the main accused in the scandal, Amit Kumar is said to have escaped to Canada, prior to the raids on his hospitals, which were illegally transplanting kidneys.
“His escape is alleged felicitated by some insider tipping him about the ensuing raid,” a senior Moradabad
police official had said earlier.
Not only Dr Jeevan, but also his wife and in-laws were quizzed by the police regarding the kidney racket, the scale of operations and the properties, which they have accumulated over time.
Earlier, joint commissioner of police, Gurgaon, Manjit Ahlawat told media persons during a press conference that both Amit Kumar and his brother did not have the requisite MBBS degrees.
He also hinted at the possibility of more doctors being involved in the kidney racket.
The police has also identified around 20 persons working as paramedical staff in the hospitals being run by the absconding doctor.
Meanwhile, officials from the ministry of health and Income tax raided the properties owned by Kumar on Tuesday. They have identified around nine properties and dozen bank accounts operated by the accused.
Investigations have also revealed that Amit Kumar owned properties in Greece, Canada and Austria.
Kumar is suspected to have fled to Canada just prior to the raids after shutting down the kidney transplants last week. Rumours are afloat that he was tipped by an insider about the impending raids.
Haryana police had sought an Interpol alert to track down Kumar after it become clear that the bird had left the nest.
The modus operandi of the kidney transplant gang was simple. It planted agents in hospitals and clinics where kidney patients frequented for treatment. Offers were made to patients here and deals worth millions were struck, sources said.
As far as donors are concerned, the Kidneygate operators used every method in the book including bullying, coercion, luring with money and promises of good jobs. Most of the victims were poor labourers from Delhi, the National Capital Region and the nearby states.
Naseem Mohammed, a daily wager, who is recuperating in a Gurgaon hospital, told that he was picked from Delhi
by the touts operating the kidney racket. He was offered a job of painting a house with decent salary, he said, to which he agreed instantly.
However, after reaching the destination, he was locked inside a room along with some other persons, obviously trapped like him. After being given an injection, Mohammed lost consciousness and when he regained senses, he like others was bereft of a kidney.
Meanwhile, the union health ministry has said that a CBI inquiry would be conducted to investigate the Kidneygate.
On its part, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided to launch a countrywide awareness programme about organ donation and has also asked the health ministry to take a fresh look at the Transplantation of Human Organs Act.
IMA president, M Abbas, said that they would investigate the entire matter and make recommendations so that such incidents do not get repeated.