Some of our staff knew of kidney racket, admits Delhi PoliceFebruary 15th, 2008 - 9:52 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi/Jammu, Feb 15 (IANS) Delhi Police Friday admitted that some of its staff had knowledge of the thriving kidney racket in Gurgaon and had let off kingpin Amit Kumar and his key associate Upendra Aggarwal after taking Rs.2 million from them. “Seven of our personnel posted in the special staff unit of the central district had prior knowledge of the thriving kidney racket in Gurgaon and had picked Upendra Aggarwal, a general physician and a key accused in the scam on Jan 7 from a DLF guesthouse in the same area,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Satyendra Garg said.
“They first took him to Connaught Place area and then to Ajmeri Gate. They then took him back, and in between Upendra called Amit Kumar to arrange the extortion money,” Garg added.
Amit brought the money and the duo was let off, the police said.
Garg said they began investigations after media reports blamed Delhi Police officials of connivance by quoting Gurgaon police chief Mahendra Lal.
Lal had said that Harpal, Amit Kumar’s driver, had in his interrogation revealed that Delhi policemen had picked up Upendra but let him go after the Rs.2 million as bribe was paid to the cops. He said that Delhi Police were aware of the racket but did not bother to act or inform Gurgaon Police.
“Till date we have not received any official communication on the matter from Gurgaon or Moradabad police. Neither has the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the kidney scam probe Feb 8, officially contacted us on this,” said Garg.
“But we launched an internal inquest and found the direct involvement of assistant sub inspector Ravinder Kumar Singh, head constables - Devender Singh and Vijay Bahadur, constables - Naresh Kumar, Kaleem Beg, Surender Rathi and Rakesh Kumar in extorting money from the kidney scam accused,” he told reporters.
Devender was aware of the kidney scam and had been involved in arresting Amit Kumar in 2001. Delhi Police had then registered a case of illegal organ transplant at the Nizammudin police station.
“They hatched a plan and picked Upendra from Amit Kumar’s DLF guesthouse,” Garg said, clarifying that it was first time they had taken money from them.
He said a case of extortion, putting a person in fear of accusation of an offence punishable with death, imprisonment of life or imprisonment for 10 years in order to commit extortion was registered against seven policemen on Thursday and Ravinder Kumar Singh arrested from the Crime Branch office.
The other six have been missing since the past few days. Their residences and offices have been raided. The seven officials have been suspended.
Ravinder Singh was Friday produced before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate A.K. Kohar, who sent him to four days judicial custody. Police said they would try to bring him face to face with Upendra.
Garg said Delhi Police had Thursday examined Amit and Upendra, who are in CBI custody, and recorded their statements.
The case against the police officials was registered after Amit Kumar spilled the beans during his interrogation by CBI sleuths.
Sources within police revealed to IANS that the case was registered in a hurry to “save the skin of some senior police officials before the CBI could lay their hands on them”.
Asked how the accused policemen picked up Upendra without the mandatory permission from seniors, Garg said it is possible that their seniors could be involved or had knowledge about their activities.
“But till know, we have no evidence about the involvement of senior officers. No one would be spared if found guilty,” Garg said.
Upendra was the first to be arrested on Jan 24 when the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana police in a joint operation swooped down on a private hospital and a guesthouse owned by Amit Kumar in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of the Indian capital.
The multi-billion rupee kidney transplant racket was found to serve international clients from Britain, the US, Greece, Lebanon, Canada, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Amit Kumar is believed to have conducted 600 illegal kidney transplants.
Amit Kumar was arrested Feb 7 from a hotel near the India-Nepal border and deported to India last week. He is presently in CBI custody.
In a related development, the CBI Friday raided the house of Amit Kumar’s father-in-law in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sham Lal Saini’s home in the slum area of Digiana on the outskirts of Jammu was raided and he was questioned about Amit Kumar’s visits to the city.
Saini’s daughter Poonam had joined Amit Kumar as a receptionist at his clinic in 1995 and later married him. She and her two sons are living in an affluent Toronto suburb.