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Docs who ?make? beggars

Three doctors, accused of maiming people ?on demand? have come under the scanner for their alleged links with beggar mafia.
None | By HT Correspondent, Ghaziabad/new Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 31, 2006 02:47 AM IST

Three doctors, accused of maiming people “on demand” have come under the scanner for their alleged links with beggar mafia. A probe has been initiated against the doctors after they were caught on camera taking money for amputating healthy limbs.

Dr Ajay Agarwal, one of the three doctors named in the investigation conducted by a private TV channel, is untraceable. Ghaziabad District Magistrate M.K.S. Sundaram has directed the chief medical officer, MMG Hospital, to investigate allegations against Agarwal and submit the report within two days.

Delhi-based Dr PK Bansal and Arvind Agarwal, secretary of the Orthopaedic Association of Bareilly, are the other two accused in the beggar-doctors nexus. All the three doctors were caught on tape taking money from the investigator, who approached them with the fake demand to amputate beggars’ limbs. According to the channel, the doctors were willing to amputate limbs for anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 40,000.

It is alleged that Dr Ajay could impudently carry out such operations because of his influential connections. Ajay’s younger brother Sanjay is a senior IAS officer currently posted in Lucknow and his brother-in-law Gopal Gupta is inspector general with the Railways in Delhi. Sources say that Ajay once even came close to being recommended for Padamshree for specialisation in replacement of joints.

Dr Bansal, who was “recommended” by Dr Agarwal as a part of the nexus, was questioned by the police. “No case has been registered so far. Bansal denied the allegation and maintained that he was innocent. He claimed he was quoted out of context. We have asked the channel to give us the tapes,” said a senior police officer. Reacting to the report, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said that the licences of accused doctors would be cancelled. “Our Ethics Committee will look into the matter. This is a heinous crime and we will wait for the legal action. If these doctors are members of the IMA, their licences will be cancelled,” said IMA President Sanjeev Malik. Dr Ajay Agarwal, however, told the Hindustan Times that he was being falsely accused. "This is a conspiracy against me. I will face any inquiry," he said.

Angry reaction

Following the telecast of the tapes showing Ajay Agarwal, hundreds of irate people thronged the doctor's Nehru Nagar residence-cum-clinic and started raising slogans. The protesters were demanding the immediate arrest of Agarwal.

Ajay and his wife Vinita were transferred to the Government Hopital, Noida, from Ghaziabad in 2004 but the next year Ajay got himself attachment with the Ghaziabad government hospital for two days a week.  He allegedly often neglected his duties. He is the first doctor in the state who is allowed to work at two places simultaneously — Noida and Ghaziabad.

YP Gupta, Chief Medical Superintendent told the HT, “I will submit my report to the state government about the misdeed of Dr Agarwal within two days.”

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