A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Sonika Dabas, the coordinator of Fortis Hospital in Haryana’s Faridabad in Kanpur on Tuesday in connection with an international kidney transplant racket, police said.
The latest arrest comes three days after Dr Deepak Shukla, chief executive officer of Delhi’s Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI), was arrested in the national capital and brought to Kanpur for questioning. He is now in judicial custody.
The SIT was set up in March after a woman in Kanpur alleged she was trapped by agents who lured poor people to sell their kidneys.
Dabas was placed under arrest when she came to record her statement at the Fazalgunj police station before the SIT, which functions under the close supervision of inspector general (Kanpur zone) Alok Singh.
“We had enough evidence with us to arrest her. She has been sent to judicial custody,” said superintendent of police (crime) Rajesh Yadav.
Dabas was produced in the court of the special chief judicial magistrate. The police are likely to seek her remand to speed up the probe.
Two other coordinators of PSRI, Sunita Prabhakaran and Mithun, obtained stay orders against their arrest after they were served notices to appear before the SIT.
The CEO of PSRI and the coordinators of PSRI and Fortis Hospital were allegedly part of the international racket, officials said.
Those involved in the racket allegedly removed the kidneys and other organs of poor people illegally and sent them for transplant to patients, including foreigners, officials privy to the investigation said.
The Kanpur police had taken into custody 10 people, all agents, before the two high-profile arrests of Dr Shukla and Fortis Hospital coordinator Dabas.
Those privy to the probe said all the agents were working closely with coordinators of two hospitals, where investigation revealed that organs were illegally harvested and transplanted into patients who paid a minimum of Rs 70 lakh for a kidney and Rs 90 lakh for a liver.
Meanwhile, Dr Shukla was shifted to the air-conditioned private ward of the UHM hospital after he complained of chest pain in Kanpur jail. He faces charges of patronising those behind the racket, which extends to Sri Lanka and some West Asian countries.
The hospital’s critical care specialist Dr Shailendra Tiwari said Dr Shukla had acute coronary syndrome in which less blood was pumped to the heart, increasing the possibility of a heart attack.
Earlier, the police arrested T Rajkumar Rao of Kolkata, Shamshad Ali of Chowk and Saboor Ali of Kakori, Lucknow, Vicky Singh of Panki, Kanpur, Gaurav Mishra of Lakhimpur Kheri, Shailesh Saxena of Badarpur, New Delhi, Shyam Tiwari, Ramu Pandey and two others after the racket was busted in February following complaint by a woman who alleged she was trapped by the agents.
Jun 11, 2019 22:38 IST