Residents of this upmarket Haryana town reacted with complete disbelief and shock when five people, including a doctor and four middlemen, were arrested for running a kidney racket right under their noses.
People woke up on Friday morning to see a large police and media gathering outside the house in Palam Vihar where the illegal trade in body parts thrived for the past three years until late Thursday.
"It is a shocking news for all Gurgaon residents. Our residents welfare association (RWA) didn't even have the slightest hint about what was going on inside the building till Friday morning when we saw large number of media persons and policemen," Wing Commander MM Marwah, a Sector 23 resident, told IANS outside the house.
"This house was also sealed by the government last year for carrying out similar activities but we don't know how they got permission to reopen it. We suspect the involvement of police officials," Marwah added.
Swapan Jana, a 27-year-old newspaper vendor, said: "I have been supplying newspapers here for the past few years but never came to know about the activities inside the building. But I used to often see foreigners here."
Retired Colonel KS Rohtagi said: "We have always seen a guard sitting outside and movement of foreigners inside, but never had any interaction with people living inside the house."
"We never expected this in our locality. It is a shameful incident and we demand a fair probe," said Rohtagi, who lives in the same locality.
The racket run by four doctors - identified as kingpin Amit Kumar, Jiwan Kumar, Saraj Kumar and Upendra Kumar - came to light after a few labourers from Moradabad town in Uttar Pradesh told the police that an agent had been going there regularly and taking four to five men with him for the last few months.
The police swung into action after an agent approached them a few days ago after his tiff with other associates over splitting the money.
The Moradabad and Gurgaon police conducted searches late Thursday at the house, which was being used as a secret hospital for kidney transplantation.
To their utter shock, the police found the basement of the two-storied house stacked with surgical tools and other apparatus.
Police then arrested a doctor Upendra, a resident of Ballabgarh, and four agents identified as Pappu, Nosad, Gayasu Deen (residents of Meerut) and Jagdish of Ballabgarh were arrested.
Search was underway for the kingpin of the racket, Amit Kumar, and other doctors involved in it.
"In the past eight-nine years, they have removed the kidneys of more than 600 underprivileged people of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh on the pretext of giving them jobs, money, and even threatening them at gun point," Gurgaon Police Commissioner Mahender Lal said.
"They used to pay the victims a paltry amount of Rs 50,000 to Rs100,000, but were charging between Rs.1 million to Rs.2 million from their national and international clients from Lebanon, Dubai, the US, Canada, Britain, Saudi Arabia, and Greece," Lal told reporters.