The Crime Investigation Department (CID) has busted a racket, in which poor people from several districts in West Bengal come to Kolkata and sell their kidneys to patients in north Indian states, faking blood relation with the recipients.
The detectives revealed that the poor people, including daily wage workers and farm labourers, from four West Bengal districts sold their kidneys to patients from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The deprived ones from Bengal are not the only ones coming to Kolkata and selling their kidneys for money, people from other states are also being lured to the racket. The department had recently caught another similar racket, where the poor from Punjab and Chhattisgarh were brought to Kolkata for selling kidneys, according to The Times of India.
The department also claimed that the medical documents which "certified" blood relations between the kidney donors and the recipients were fake.
The detectives found that poor people from Punjab and Chhattisgarh were also lured to donate their kidneys in exchange of money and were then brought to Kolkata. Each one of them was promised ₹10,000 to ₹70,000 in exchange of a kidney.
The Lalbazar detectives also claimed that the signatures of senior health officials from Bengal districts were either forged or misused on the documents.
The claim was further supported by CID officials' probe at the state health departments, from where the recipients belonged. The investigation revealed that most of the files that reached Kolkata with signatures and stamps of clearances never went to the states' health departments.
CID has assigned officials to track the donors and the recipients for further investigations.
"We have sent our officials to individual addresses and traced 'donors' in villages like Bindol in North Dinajpur - which is infamous as the kidney racket village - and in Bankura, Burdwan, Nadia and South 24-Parganas," the report quoted an unnamed source in CID.
The report noted that of the total kidney transplantations in Kolkata, around 40 percent are done for the sake of money. Most of the procedures are reportedly carried out in the private hospitals near Kolkata's Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.
However, West Bengal Department of Health and Family Welfare (DHFW) spokesperson Dr. Suman Biswas told IB Times India that no cases regarding kidney trade in the state or city have been registered with the department.
"I don't know where the allegations (sale of kidney) are coming from. There is no such case registered either with the medical superintendent or Swasthya Bhawan (DHFW)," Biswas said.