Delhi Police launch hunt for two more members of the gang

A major racket in supply of blood through illegal means at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and Safdarjung Hospital here in the Capital has been unearthed by the Delhi police with the arrest of six persons.

Two of the accused were arrested earlier for their suspected involvement in illegal kidney transplant rackets, while one worked as a security guard at Safdarjung Hospital. The police claim to have seized from them several diaries and three mobile phones purportedly containing details of over a hundred professional blood donors. A hunt has been launched for two more members of the gang.

The racket came to light when the Sarojini Nagar police received a complaint from Vinod Kumar, a resident of neighbouring Ghaziabad, that some people had cheated him on the pretext of arranging blood for his daughter, Varsha, who was under treatment at Safdarjung Hospital.

Vinod had come to the hospital on August 12. Since his daughter was in dire need of blood transfusion, he tried to arrange it from the blood banks at AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospitals, but in vain. He had himself undergone an operation recently and was not in a position to donate blood. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Delhi) H. G. S. Dhaliwal, Vinod came into contact with Mahesh Kumar, one of the prime accused, who demanded Rs.2,000 for a unit and promised to arrange it through his contacts. Vinod agreed to pay the amount as his daughter’s condition was deteriorating.

Mahesh allegedly took him to his four contacts -- Kailash Singh, Satish, Gaurav and Ankur. Vinod paid Rs.1,500 to the accused and also handed them his wrist-watch as security for the rest of the money. The accused then sent Ankur and Gaurav along with the complainant to the blood bank at Safdarjung Hospital, the police said.

Telling Vinod that they were going inside the bank to deposit the donation form, the two accused vanished from the scene. Realising that he had been cheated, Vinod finally donated his own blood to save his daughter’s life.

Based on the complaint, the police registered a case and arrested the five accused from both the hospitals. They purportedly seized several blank and filled-out blood donation forms of Safdarjung Hospital and the complainant’s wrist-watch from them besides other documents. At their instance, the police later arrested Lal Bahadur, a security guard at Safdarjung Hospital, as he had allegedly introduced Mahesh to Vinod and had got a cut of Rs.200 for the job.

The interrogation of the accused revealed that Kailash and Manish were previously booked in illegal kidney transplant cases.

The police are trying to ascertain if there was a nexus between the gang and certain blood bank staff, security personnel and lower rung employees of both the hospitals. They are also scrutinising blood bank records and interrogating the accused to identify more persons involved in the murky trade.

The police suspect that a large number of professional donors who worked for the gang are drug addicts living in nearby jhuggi clusters, drug peddlers and rickshaw pullers. They have found that the accused even made people donate blood more than once in a month.

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