34 targeted in 20 days; at least two of them are kids

Among those target by the three-member gang was the father of a 18-month-old baby who was suffering from jaundice.

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2018 00:20 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Fraud,Conmen,Fake doctors
The fake ayurvedic medicine (above) that Mujammil, 34, Ravi Shetty, 38, and Manoj Govind Shikre, 34, sold to desperate patients. The gang has cheated people in cities such as Hyderabad, Pune, Indore, among others(HT Photo)

In just 20 days of its operation in Delhi, the gang of three ‘fake doctors’ arrested from central Delhi’s Chandni Mahal on Thursday had targeted 34 patients, who had advanced stages of AIDS, cancer and heart disease.

At the gang’s Chandni Mahal office, investigators found 34 receipts issued by them over the last 20 days. Only two of those receipts had details of patients — both children who are undergoing treatment at Delhi’s top hospitals.

The first is an 18-month-old child, who is suffering from jaundice since birth and was undergoing treatment at AIIMS. “His father is a street vendor in south Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar and he had spent Rs 2 lakh on the child’s treatment, but with little success,” an investigator said.

An ‘agent’ of this gang spotted the boy with his parents at a religious event in Sarojini Nagar on Monday. “The boy was having an epileptic fit and his parents appeared upset. The agent took the boy’s father aside and told him that his son too had the same problem but was cured after being treated by an ‘ayurveda’ doctor in Chandni Mahal,” the officer explained.

The father paid Rs 65,000 for “gold ash” that he believed would cure the boy. “The father was asked to discontinue the treatment at AIIMS and he agreed. But when his wife got to know of it, she insisted that it was a fraud and that the police be informed,” the investigator said.

That is how the gang was busted.

Police said the gang’s other victim is a seven-year-old boy who was undergoing treatment at a prominent private hospital in central Delhi. “Last week, another agent was scouting for victims at that hospital when he noticed the boy’s troubled grandfather,” the officer said.

The boy was diagnosed with a hole in his heart and his grandfather had little faith in the doctors, police said. “The grandfather is a retired government official, but his desperation led him into the trap. He took the boy out of the hospital and sought treatment from this gang,” the officer said.

Police said the gang did everything to squeeze money out of its victims and was willing to take payments in cash, cheque and even through credit cards. “One cancer patient did not have cash. They used his credit card to shop for jewellery,” the investigator said.

First Published: Sep 01, 2018 00:20 IST