Ramanagara: In a four-day operation in Bangalore, police have busted a kidney racket and have arrested three of its seven members. "This racket has been working for the last three to four years in Bangalore. It also operates in Mysore where corporate hospitals are there. Names of few hospitals have come up but their role is yet to be established. We'll find that in the course of investigation," said SP Ramanagara Anupam Agarwal.
One of the members of the racket - K Mahadevaiah of Kanakapura Taluk in Ramanagaram district - is a farmer by profession. He is allegedly also the mastermind behind the thriving racket which sells poor people's kidney for a song.
In rural areas of Bangalore, touts easily find gullible people who are willing to part with one of their kidneys for as low as Rs 50,000 or maximum Rs 1 lakh. Police estimate that there could be hundreds of such victims, who have been paid barely 10 to 20 per cent of what kidney patients are charged. The remaining amount which ranges between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh is pocketed by the middlemen.
Sources say that in poverty-struck villages near Bangalore, almost every second house has a kidney donor but they don't much talk about it because they are afraid of being questioned by the police. One of the donors who opened up told that he was paid merely Rs 45,000 for donating his kidney. "I was paid Rs 45,000 but the money didn't last with me for even a month," said Chandrashekhar, a construction worker.