Saturday, 27 November, 2021

Kidney trafficking goes unchecked

‘500 people of Joypurhat sold kidneys in 10 yrs’

Kidney trafficking is still rampant in Joypurhat though the administration takes tough stance against the crime.

Police said several organ-trafficking gangs are active in alluring people to sell their kidneys in the district.

Many sell their organs through the gangs after finding no alternative to repaying their loans, they added.

About 500 people of Mattrai and Udoypur unions under Kalai upazila of Joypurhat have sold their kidneys in the last 10 years, Kalai Upazila Parishad Chairman Minfuzur Rahman Milon told the Daily Sun.

“At least 10 people have sold their kidneys in the last 11 months,” he said.

Joypurhat Superintendent of Police Masum Ahmed Bhuiyan told the Daily Sun that they have arrested seven members of an organ-trafficking gang in the last three months.

“We are taking stern action against members of the organ-trafficking rackets and making villagers aware about the dangerous effects of kidney sales,” he said.

On October 12, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) unearthed an organ-trafficking gang that has sold kidneys of 100 people abroad so far.

A team of RAB arrested five members of the racket from Dhaka city and Joypurhat.

Shahriar Imran Ahmed, 36, son of Furuk Mia of Marulura village at Shotong Bazar under Chunarghat in Habiganj was the ringleader of the cycle.

Azizul Islam, an inhabitant of Guchhogram at Mattrai union under Kalai upazila, borrowed Tk 20,000 from one Hamidul Islam to spend the money on the marriage of his younger sister in 2019.

After a few days, Hamidul, who is a member of an organised organ trafficking gang, was creating pressure on him to return his lent money, but Aziz had no way to do so. Then, Hamid allured him of selling one of his kidneys at Tk 10 lakh. Being allured, the poor Aziz sold his one kidney, but he was paid only Tk 3.5 lakh.

Narrating details, the victim said that the members of the organ traffickers took him to the capital and made his passport and other documents.  

“I was sent to a hospital in India where one of my kidneys was cut through an operation in 2019.”

“Although I was promised to give Tk 10 lakh, I was given only Tk 3.5 lakh. Now, I cannot do any heavy work,” he said.

Kalai Upazila Chairman Milon said sales of kidneys by the people came to the fore in 2011.

“Then, the Cabinet Division formed a probe committee. I was a member of the committee. What the reasons the committee found out were that the people sold their kidneys mainly for two reasons.”

One reason was they had no option to repay loans they borrowed from some microcredit organisations while another reason was they became greedy enough for a big amount of money after being allured by members of the trafficking gangs, he said.

“Some bad people, who are powerful, are involved in the crime,” he said, adding that they were trying their best to stop such malpractice.

The chairman revealed that some victims who sold their kidneys had later become brokers of alluring other people to sell their organs.

Karina Akhter, an inhabitant of Mattrai union, said that she came to the capital and took a job at a garment factory after an argument with her husband last year.

Mamun, Raihan, Hannan, Mehedi and some others, inhabitants of her area, allured her that she could not change her fate by working in the apparel factory.

If she would sell her one kidney, she would get Tk 6 lakh and would not feel any problem in her future life as one kidney would be enough for a human being for survival.

“Being allured, I agreed. Then they sent me to India where one of my kidneys was kept through an operation. After returning to the country, they paid me Tk 3 lakh instead of Tk 6 lakh. I lodged a complaint against them with Kalai Police Station,” she said.

“Now, I cannot take my child on my lap as I feel very pain,” she said.

Another victim Mohammad Mostafa, an inhabitant of Kusumchhara village under Mttrai union, said that he sold his one kidney for Tk 6 lakh, but he was paid half.