On Tuesday, Delhi police in Kolkatta, West Bengal, nabbed T Rajkumar Rao, the alleged kingpin of the illegal organ donation racket – primarily involving kidneys, that was busted at South Delhi’s posh Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. Rao, who is said to be in his thirties, will be brought to Delhi once a Kolkatta court issues Delhi police officials with a transit remand.According to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) selling organs commercially is prohibited and organs can be donated only to those with familial connections.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accused Rao was allegedly the liaison between the doctors and the touts. Sources close to the investigation speculated that a contact from the hospital would inform Rao about a potential recipient. After getting all the relevant details, Rao would then pass on the information to the touts and middlemen who in turn would scout for potential donors.”An operation this big is not possible with involvement of management and doctors. All the forms need to be signed by committee members to permit transplants. However, all this is conjecture at the moment and the matter needs to be thoroughly investigated,” a source stated. “We are going to invite the management committee from Apollo hospital to join us in the probe,” the source added.Despite Rao’s arrest, police officials have confirmed that the investigation is still in its nascent stage. “We are taking a methodical approach. First the touts, then donors, followed by the recipients after which we will start approaching all those involved in this operation,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast).However, it has come to light that Rao, along with middlemen Aseem Sikdar and Satya Prakash alias Ashu – who were arrested last week, have previous links with each other. Sikdar and Ashu – both donors themselves, allegedly ran a racket in Jalandhar, Punjab along with Rao that was busted. Sikdar and Ashu presumably came to Delhi whereas, Rao went international and ran the illegal “organ donation” racket from Indonesia and Sri Lanka.Officials claim that since January 2016, almost 240 cases need to be investigated at Apollo hospital. “So far five cases of transplants have been confirmed where the organ donation was illegal. We need at all the cases to investigate if organ donation was genuine or illegal,” a source added.In simultaneous operations, Delhi police also arrested three others from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and Siliguri, West Bengal in connection with this case. Mamta Moulik, was picked up from Siliguri where as husband-wife duo Umesh and Nilu were arrested from Kanpur.Moulik – a donor, is married to Devashish Moulik – a donor as well, who the Delhi Police arrested last week. According to police officials, Umesh and Nilu sold a kidney each to repay a loan they had taken to fund their son’s leg operation. Umesh and Nilu were paid a total of Rs.7 lakhs for their kidneys.The Delhi police have taken the main tout and middleman Aseem Sikdar to West Bengal to further investigate this case.So far, only cases at Apollo hospital are being investigation, however, officials claim that other hospitals will also be investigated. At the moment, four doctors are under the scanner though the number may rise.Denying all involvement, Apollo Hospital released a press statement saying they are “victims of a well-orchestrated operation by individuals who are not employees of the hospital.” The hospital has gone on to maintain that it has “a robust mechanism with a committee that include independent members to accord permission for transplant surgery.”

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Delhi: Kingpin of Illegal kidney racket T Rajkumar Rao arrested