Jaideep Sharma could have just ignored that one strange phone call and go on leading his life. But this was a call from a group of kidney racketeers and the 24- year-old did not just pay attention, but also risked his life to bust the racket along with the Crime Branch, Delhi.
The son of a government school teacher in Sadia Rampura village, located in the Sikar district of Rajasthan, Jaideep made his parents proud with an MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management, Pune.
In September 2016, while doing his internship in Jaipur, he got a call from an unknown number (8169299426). The person on the other side called himself Imtiyaz Ali and offered him ₹20 lakh for his kidney.
A shocked Jaideep immediately rejected the offer. But the racketeer ended the call saying that he could email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘I want to sell my kidney’ if he was ever interested.
Though Jaideep had no intentions to do so, he saved the number for safety. He would have forgotten about the call, but while talking about the incident, he came to know that his friend was also contacted by these racketeers. He decided to take some action against them before they could make anyone a prey of their horrifying intentions.
“Coincidently it was News-24 channel running on my television while I was thinking about the call, so I decided to call them and they helped me till the end,” says Jaideep while speaking to TBI.
The channel gave him a local reporter’s phone number, who then connected him to their Delhi correspondent Rahul Prakash. The correspondent called Jaideep to Delhi in April 2017 and accompanied him to file a complaint at Delhi’s Chankyapuri police station.
There was no looking back. Sub inspector Gurmeet Singh led the operation and asked Jaideep to contact the racketeers. The racketeers fell into the trap with ease and so the procedure to sell Jaideep’s kidney began.
Kidney donations in India must adhere to several legal rules, and Jaideep was asked to change his identity and pose as the patient’s son. The patient was from Andhra Pradesh, and hence Jaideep was taken to a salon for a makeover.
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The racketeers also made counterfeit documents including an Aadhaar card and bank passbook to establish his new identity. They named him P. Sp Phani Kumar.
Jaideep was taken to a local lab first for tests and then again to Batra Hospital, where the operation was supposed to be done. He underwent 17 tests at the lab and another 17 at the hospital. Apart from numerous injections, nearly three litres of blood was taken from his body.
When asked if he was scared during the operation, he says, “I was always surrounded by at least 10 policemen from the crime branch. They were always alert and made sure that they can immediately intervene if there was a danger. Though while they injected me, I would get scared at times but the very next moment I would think that I have to do this so that they don’t spoil someone else’s life.”
Finally the day came when he had to appear for an interview with the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) committee members.
According to Jaideep, he was provided with the fake documents and also trained to answer questions in exactly the same sequence that the committee members asked him just half an hour before the meeting.
“I was told by the crime branch to answer few of the questions wrongly, so that they can figure out if some of the hospital staffs were also involved in this racket,” he informs.
Jaideep answered correctly about his name and his father’s name, as per the documents, but when asked about the last hospital his father (the patient) was admitted into, he gave a wrong answer. He also erred when asked about his address and name of his school. Despite the goofups, the committee passed his application. The interview was done on May 22, three days before the operation. All this while, the crime branch kept an eye at the racketeers and the hospital staff. They were also investigating the racket, which incidentally even had a Facebook page and no less than six websites. They racketeers followed people who searched for kidney hospitals and tracked them through IP address. They would promise the donor a hefty amount; however according to Jaideep, they had no intentions of giving money.
“If someone would say that they won’t sell the kidney unless they are paid for it, the racketeers would blackmail them with fake documents signed by the donor,” says Jaideep.
On May 25, 2017, almost when Jaideep was about to enter the operation theatre, police arrested six people involved in the kidney racket.
The accused are currently under interrogation and the hospital staff is also under scrutiny. Jaideep has been congratulated by Delhi Police for his bravery, without which it was impossible to bust this racket.
“There are so many wrongs happening around us, which we just watch and ignore. But only one step taken by us can save so many lives…so why not,” says this brave young man.
You can follow Jaideep Sharma on Twitter @jaideepips
Here are some websites Jaideep warns to beware of, and report immediately:
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