Dharmendra Tiwari TWEETS @DT_Mirror
Investigations into the interna tional kidney racket, which has exposed the plight of the poor being forced into selling off their organs to pay off private loans, has now led the Akola police to a reputed doctor-couple from the neighbouring district of Yavatmal. After the arrest of moneylender Anand Jadhav and his agent Devendra Shirsat on December 2, the police found out about the alleged involvement of a hospital run by the Shrotri doctor-couple, located at Tilakwadi in Yavatmal district.“During questioning the accused, he disclosed that it was Dr Shrotri’s hospital in Nagpur where Santosh Gawli was taken for preliminary medical examination before he was sent to Colombo for the kidney transplant surgery,“ a source said. However, the police found the hospital shut when they reached Yavatmal. They were told that the hospital was shut down three years ago when the doctor-couple shifted to Nagpur, where they are running another hospital at present. ` A team from the Local Crime Branch in Akola is keeping a watch in Nagpur for the couple that is absconding at present.
“Their couple’s hospital business was doing well in Yavatmal. It is still unclear what prompted them to leave the city and settle down in Nagpur,“ another source added.Jadhav and Shirsat had reportedly claimed that it was the Shrotri couple’s client who was getting the new kidney in Colombo.
After the registration of the first complaint, five victims have approached Akola police alleging that they had been taken undue advantage of because of their financial condition by Jadhav and Shirsat, and have had to sell off their kidneys.
An investigating officer from the Local Crime Branch of Akola police said, “Apart from Santosh Gawli and Shantabai Kharat, three others -Santosh Kolhatkar, Deva Komalkar and Amar More have approached with their complaints.“
Another officer said, “During questioning, Jadhav and Shirsat accepted that it was Sangli-based Shivaji Koli’s idea to not give them the entire sum of money since it would raise suspicion if they changed their lifestyle.“
A source said that Gawli and Kolhatkar received Rs 3 lakh, while Kharat received only Rs 2 lakh instead of the promised 4 lakh.
However, the police are yet to ascertain how much money was handed over to Komalkar and More by the kidney smugglers.
Akola Superintendent of Police C K Mina said, “The investigation is in a very crucial stage and there are possibilities of more arrests in connection with the on-going kidney-racket investigation.“
“Jadhav and Shirsat will be produced before the court as their custody is getting over on Saturday. Our team will ask the court to extend their custody due to the complex nature of the investigation,“ Mina added.
Meanwhile, Akola police is on the lookout for Shivaji Koli from Sangli district, who appears to be the brain behind the international kidney racket.