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Kidney Sale Fraud In Odisha: Himanshu’s Arrest May Open Pandora’s Box!

Bhubaneswar: The recent arrest of 32-year-old youth Himanshu Bhusan Nanda in Bhubaneswar is expected to unfold many vital details with regard to kidney sale and transplant fraud. The Commissionerate Police on Saturday took Nanda on a three-day remand to unravel the mystery behind so many kidney deals and trace persons involved in the scam.

So far, four victims of Nanda have come forward and lodged complaints against him. What has come as a shocker is that there is also a likelihood of involvement of some medical staff in this fraud, as it is claimed that Nanda has worked with the marketing team of a private hospital in the capital city earlier. This apart, he had been using one of his accomplices as a ‘fake kidney donor’ who accompanied the patients to a Kolkata-based hospital for necessary tests and documentation.

Nanda had taken Rs 5.50 lakh from one Pratap Mishra (64) of Rupsa in Balasore, back in April 2019, to arrange kidney. Similarly, Tarulata Mishra hailing from Laxmi Sagar area in Bhubaneswar has also accused Nanda of cheating her to the tune of Rs 3.19 lakh. Another complaint lodged at the Mancheswar Police station in Bhubaneswar mentioned that Himanshu duped Rs 18 lakh from a patient on the pretext of arranging a kidney donor.

And on Saturday, one more chapter was added to Himanshu’s crime record after one Alok Ranjan Chaini of Kendrapara’s Marshaghai came out in the open to reveal how he was duped of Rs 8 lakh. Though a complaint was lodged by Chaini in 2015, the actual matter was known following the arrest of Nanda.

Speaking to OTV, Chaini alleged, “Himanshu Nanda had accompanied Sanjay Pallai who identified himself as the transplant coordinator of a hospital. I had set a condition that I would go ahead with the operation only after seeing the Orissa HC order and the no-objection certificate (NOC) of Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET). They did not provide to me any document even after one and half years, I demanded a refund of the money I had paid to them. They (fraudsters) then did not pick up my phone and communication was cut-off completely.”

The arrested youth Himanshu happens to be a resident of Nuapatna in Pattamundai of Kendrapara district and had been staying in Uttara area of the capital city, where he has opened a decor showroom with the money he had received from the kidney patients.

Bhubaneswar DCP Umashankar Dash said that Himanshu is hiding many things and not cooperating with police. “Very cleverly, he used to win the trust of the people. He assured patients that the process of kidney sale is all legal. We need to find more about the modus operandi, and how the accused operated the scam. A detailed interrogation will lead us to the core of the racket, and then we’ll be able to shed more light on this.” Dash, however, denied divulging more information about an alleged nexus between medical personnel and the accused, as the case is under investigation.

Surprisingly, the State health department or the concerned minister had no information about this fraud until OTV correspondent spoke to the minister seeking details of the action initiated by the department in this regard.

“I haven’t received any written complaint on this as yet. I’m hearing about this from you (OTV). I will issue an order to the department to conduct an enquiry into this. Stringent action would be taken as per law,” said health minister Naba Das.

The guidelines of government regarding kidney transplantation mention that only a voluntary donor or relative of a patient can donate kidney. The complete documentation process also is arduous, plus any deviation from the guidelines would invite legal action, sources said.

“As per standard protocol, documentation is to be done after tests. Then the documents must be sent to the government. People cannot go to the hospitals directly with the test reports seeking operation. Without obtaining permission or NOC from the government, no such operation is conducted in the world,” Dr Nishit Mohanty has said.

For now, the police is hopeful of opening Pandora’s box before Himanshu’s remand period ends.

READ | Odisha: ‘420’ Youth Arrested For Duping Kidney Patients Of Lakhs

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