Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 29:
A year after the sensational kidney sale case in Odisha’s Cuttack city, the Enforcement Directorate began its probe into the case on Thursday.
According to reports, a three-member ED team, comprising three assistant directors, on Thursday arrived at Seven Hills Hospital in Vishakhapatnam where it interrogated some hospital staffs.
Sources said the ED is likely to bring the director of the hospital Dr Prabhakar Babu to Bhubaneswar for further interrogation.
It may be recalled that the Mangalabag police in Cuttack had registered a case in July last year following a complaint by a woman Namita Nayak who said she had agreed to give her kidney due to acute poverty. In return, she was assured of financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh, but was paid only Rs 50, 000.
Her name was changed to Banita Lenka and she was shown in hospital records as a relative of the person to whom she had agreed to give her kidney. The woman was taken to Seven HIlls hospital where the hospital authorities, without proper verification of the document, transplanted her kidney without the knowledge of her husband.
The incident came to light after the husband of the woman lodged a complaint with the Mangalabag police that the receiver gave only Rs 45,000 to his wife instead of the promised amount of Rs 10 lakh.
Acting on the complaint, police arrested the mediators Sharmistha Nayak and Niranjan Choudhury alias Nirakar.
The Bhubaneswar commissionerate police later arrested Dr Prabhakar Babu, Jagabandhu Lenka (brother of Mohan Lenka who had taken the kidney of the woman) and his friend Niranjan Pradhan.
Despite the demands from various quarters for further investigation into the case, the commissionerate police closed the case.
However, taking the matter seriously, ED has taken up the case for further investigation.
The ED suspects that the Seven Hills hospital is the focal point of all illegal kidney transplantations.
Several patients from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and other north and western Indian states used to come to this hospital for kidney transplantation.
The ED officials are hopeful of a breakthrough in this case to bust a well orchestrated racket involved in the illegal activities.