4 quacks who ‘purified blood’ to cure illnesses arrested in Malegaon
Police officials said the gang would target people, especially senior citizens, with visible ailments or deformities. They would usually inform the victims that that the origin of their illnesses lied in their impure blood and would offer to cure them by sucking the ‘impurity’ out in exchange for a fee
MUMBAI: A gang of four persons, who allegedly claimed themselves as Unani practitioners and cheated seven people of ₹23 lakh after promising to cure their illnesses by purifying their blood, has been arrested by the crime branch in Malegaon.
Police officials said the gang would target people, especially senior citizens, with visible ailments or deformities. They would usually inform the victims that that the origin of their illnesses lied in their impure blood and would offer to cure them by sucking the ‘impurity’ out in exchange for a fee.
The complainant is a 61-year-old businessman from Wadala who suffered from tremors caused by a neurological disorder.
He claimed that three people approached him on October 26 when he was returning from Nariman Point where he had visited an office for a work-related assignment – perhaps after noticing that his hands were shaking. The trio introduced themselves as Rakesh Agarwal, Dr R Patel, and his assistant Manish and told him that the neurological disorder could be cured, the complainant said.
A police officer said the trio then visited the businessman’s residence where the ‘doctor’ checked him and told him that his veins had been blocked because of the ‘pitta’ (bile) in his blood. He then made minor, superficial cuts in more than 10 places on his back and legs and used a metal tube to suck the ‘impure blood’ out.
“The treatment went on for four days and during this period the quacks drew ‘impure blood’ from the body of the complainant 710 times,” said Raj Tilak Roshan, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), crime branch.
“The ‘doctor’ had kept a tablet of Multani Mitti powder in his mouth which turns the blood yellow. Each time he sucked blood from the victim’s body he would spit yellow blood to impress upon the complainant that his blood was impure,” Roshan said.
Deepak Surve, investigating officer, said the accused sucked blood at least 60 to 70 times from each of the cuts and charged the businessman ₹14.50 lakh. “After collecting their fees in cash, the accused left the complainant’s residence and changed their mobile numbers.”
The victim later realised that he had been duped and approached Marine Drive police station. On November 11, a case was registered under section 34 (common intention) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and section 33 (prohibition on medical practice by persons not registered) and 36 (unauthorised use of a title or description before the name of a person) of the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961.
The investigation was handed over to unit 3 of the crime branch. “The police scrutinised the CCTV footage of the spot where the accused first met the complainant and analysed the call detail record of their previous mobile numbers. Finally, the gang was traced to Malegaon where they were arrested,” Surve added.
The four have been identified as Mohammad Sheru Shaikh Maqsood Kha alias Dr R Patel, 49, Mohammad Nafis Mohammed Sharif, 39, Mohammad Asif Mohammad Nishar, 27, and Mohammad Ashif Mohammed Sharif, 44. All the accused are residents of Kota in Rajasthan.
Police have recovered ₹14 lakh from them, apart from nine mobile phones, several SIM cards and a car. During interrogation, they allegedly revealed that they had already duped six others, including three women, in Mulund, Malad, Ghatkopar and other places in the city.
DCP Roshan said the accused would keep shifting their places of stay from Bhiwandi to Malegaon to Manor in Palghar and roam around in several places to identify their victims.