GUWAHATI: Driven by acute poverty, the locals of an Assam village are selling off their kidneys.
The racket came to light when some people of Dakshin Dharamtul village in Morigaon district nabbed an “agent”, along with three others, and handed them over to the police. Some 30 people from the village are believed to have sold off a kidney each so far.
About half a dozen villagers came on record to say they sold off their kidneys. Some took the step to repay loan. Some did it for the treatment of family members. The villagers are mostly farmers and daily wagers and they have been badly affected by the pandemic.
Some people, who sold off kidneys, said they were taken to Kolkata where they underwent surgeries. The police confirmed the racket.
“Two people, including a woman, have been arrested. The woman is in police custody,” Morigaon SP Aparna Natarajan told The New Indian Express.
She said the police did not have any specific information on the number of people who had sold off their kidneys. She said the police were talking to the villagers and collecting details.
“We have shared some details with the state authorisation committee for organ transplantation which is the competent authority to approve any kind of organ transplantation. Our investigation is on,” the SP added.
The alleged agent, Lilimai Bodo from Guwahati, was nabbed when she had visited the village two days ago in search of prospective kidney sellers. On learning about her presence in the village, an aggrieved family zeroed in on her. The family had not received the promised amount from her.
The accused would lure the poor people with Rs 4-5 lakh but deduct up to Rs 1.5 lakh as commission, locals said.
Krishna Das had sold off a kidney to repay the bank loan. She was promised Rs 4.5 lakh by the agent but she received Rs 3.5 lakh. “I had to sell it off to run my family. My husband has been down with illness for long and I had to repay the bank loan,” the woman said.
Srikanta Das, another villager, had received Rs 3.5 lakh although he was promised Rs 5 lakh. “I sold off a kidney for my son’s treatment. I had no other option,” Das said.