Delhi Kidney racket: A fearless student risks safety for his missing friend

On Thursday, he was minutes away from having his kidney removed when a Delhi Police team that had been shadowing him all through, raided Batra Hospital in South Delhi and “rescued” him.

delhi Updated: May 27, 2017 18:24 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times
Kidney racket,Delhi kidney racket,Missing student
Jaideep Sharma.

When Jaideep Sharma’s friend went missing last September from his hometown in Rajasthan’s Sikar, the 24-year-old MBA student had inkling that it had something to do with a kidney racket.

For days before his disappearance, Rajesh Mehla had been telling him about his plans to donate his kidney for Rs 10 lakh that would help improve his family’s financial condition.

Without informing his family, Sharma embarked on a dangerous mission to trace his friend. He posed as a donor and went through the entire drill before actual donation, conducted sting operations on the illegal kidney racketeers and stayed in Delhi for 40 days to expose the interstate racket.

On Thursday, he was minutes away from having his kidney removed when a Delhi Police team that had been shadowing him all through, raided Batra Hospital in South Delhi and “rescued” him. “I have heard that four racketeers have been arrested but my friend remains missing,” Sharma told HT on Friday.

Pursuing his MBA degree from Symbiosis University in Pune, Sharma had been told by Mehla about how he had been contacted by some kidney agents. So when Mehla disappeared, Sharma decided to pursue the same agents. He reached out to them through email and soon received a response.

But the racketeers had multiple layers of screening to ensure that Sharma was a genuine donor and not a policeman laying a trap. “Once they agreed to buy his kidney for Rs 4 lakh, he contacted me and requested me to conduct a sting operation,” said Sukesh Ranjan, input editor of News24 channel.

“Sharma knew the risks involved in what he was doing but he is fearless. Once we were sure of his confidence, we contacted senior Delhi Police officers who approved our operation and confirmed that they would be with us throughout,” said Ranjan.

Over the next 40 days, Sharma played to the tunes of the racketeers to avoid any suspicion and at the same kept updated the police and the TV team about every move. News24 reporter, Rahul Prakash, posed as Sharma’s friend in the operation.

“Sharma would also conduct sting operations on the racketeers when it was not possible for us to step into the scene,” said Prakash. By the end, the police had 200 hours of video evidence that is expected to go a long way in nailing the accused.

As the time the sting was about to end on Thursday afternoon, Sharma was in the operation theatre at Batra Hospital in Delhi. “I was confident that the police would rescue me before the doctors would take out my kidney,” said Sharma.

After rescuing Sharma, the police arrested four middlemen involved in the racket and are set to question some doctors and staffers from Batra Hospital.

Meanwhile, the hospital said: “Batra Hospital conducts all renal transplants fairly and under strict supervision. All related and unrelated transplants are vetted by a committee.All the transplant act guidelines are followed. All documents are checked and the proceedings of the committee are recorded. There is no involvement of the hospital in any wrongdoing. The hospital has and will fully co operate with the police and earnestly assist in finding out the culprit.”

First Published: May 27, 2017 18:22 IST