A day after the Dharmapuri police busted a kidney trade racket with the arrest of a tout and a seller, special teams arrested three more touts on Tuesday.
A tip-off to Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police Asra Garg led to the busting of the racket.
Sources in the special teams, based on the preliminary investigation, said that it was a clear case of exploitation of poverty and unemployment through commercialised organ trade. From seized documents, including agreements between the tout and ‘donors’, officials found that a gang had been operating for over eight years and 60-80 kidney sellers were lured into the racket.
K. Parameshwara, Deputy Superintendent of Police, told reporters that N. Shajahan (45) of Komarapalayam, C. Vadivel (46) of Sankagiri in Erode district and R. Srinivasan (35) of Jaderpalayam in Namakkal district were arrested in a pre-dawn operation. The sources said the number of ‘donors’ lured into the trade was less in the originally backward district of Dharmapuri. It was more from places such as Komarapalayam, Sankagiri, Namakkal and Salem. Sources said people who were earning well witnessed a slump in income because of the recession in the industry. The resultant poverty was capitalised upon by touts to persuade them to part with a kidney. The gang even explained to the ‘donors’ that one healthy kidney was sufficient for a person to survive. The DSP said that the three touts were arrested on Tuesday on the basis of the leads given by N.S. Ayyavu (51) who was arrested on Monday. Police had also arrested S. Balasubramaniam, a ‘donor’, on Monday.
Inquiry revealed that the three who were arrested on Tuesday had links with Ayyavu for the past four years and allegedly mediated for a hefty commission in about 40 cases. The gang operated in Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Salem, Namakkal, Erode and Coimbatore districts. Investigations are on to trace the donors and receivers, the DSP said.
The probe also aimed at finding out whether doctors and hospitals were involved in referring kidney failure patients, desperately looking for a donor, to touts.
Police are also probing whether officials in government departments were involved in preparing bogus documents to certify that the donor was related to the patient. This is because of a ban on taking kidneys from live unrelated donors.