Kidney racket: Two dental college officials ‘bribed’ by kingpin held
The Dehradun police has now tightened noose around the senior administrative officials of the dental college from where the inter-state kidney racket was allegedly being run near Dehradun.
Continuing with its series of arrests, the police arrested Arun Kumar Pandey, director of Uttaranchal Dental and Medical Research Institute (inside whose campus the Gangotri Charitable Hospital was being run) and his associate Dr Ashok Yogi, who allegedly helped in arranging the facility to the racket kingpin Dr Amit Kumar. Twelve people have been arrested so far in the case.
The hospital, situated inside the dental college premises, had been leased out to the racketeers last year and continued to function even though its agreement had got over in July.
“The college authorities were in the know of the shady activities going on inside the hospital. We arrested the college director along with an associate after their names came up during probe,” said Dehradun superintendent of police (rural) Sarita Dobhal, who is leading the investigation team.
Arrested late on Thursday night, the duo reportedly told the police that they were aware of the nefarious activities going on at the hospital and were bribed by Dr Amit to keep quiet.
College director Pandey told his interrogators that they had leased out the hospital to Dr Amit in 2016. “I grew suspicious when foreign patients began arriving and confronted Dr Amit, who then promised to give me Rs 5 lakh per month for not revealing the activity (illegal surgeries) going on at the hospital,” the police quoted Pandey as saying.
Dr Ashok Yogi, who had good terms with the college administration, said he was approached by Rajiv Chaudhary (the key middleman) last year. “I helped him and Dr Amit meet the college authorities for arranging the hospital premises. When I came to know about the kidney operations, I questioned him after which he offered me money to stay silent,” Dr Yogi told the police.
Alarmed by the police action against the college owners, the state medical education department has sprung up to take action. “Till now, we only knew that the racket was being run from the premises of the dental college but now the involvement of the college authorities, too, has emerged. We will study the details and take appropriate action,” medical education director Ashutosh Sayana told HT.
On leasing out of a part of the dental college - which is not permitted under the Dental Council of India norms – Sayana said, “It will have to be checked whether they (college) had shown it (the said hospital) as a part of the college to the DCI or not, based on which further action will be taken.”
Congress demands CBI probe into the racket
Congress leader Suryakant Dhasmana demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the kidney racket. In a letter to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Dhasmana stressed it was a “matter of grave concern” as the racket was not only being run within the CM’s constituency (Doiwala), but also because Rawat himself holds the health and medical education portfolios.
“Also, kidney donors as well as recipients hailed from different states and even abroad,” the Congress senior vice-president said.