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K’taka Human Rights Commission orders probe against 5 cops in kidney selling case

Shocking details are emerging from the suspicious death case of a 29-year-old mentally challenged man whose kidneys were sold.

The probe has revealed that the victim died on the operating table and his body was cremated under a different name.

The police, who stumbled upon the big scandal, tried to promptly hush up the case. They made accused individuals the witnesses on the case. In spite of knowing everything, the police merely recorded a missing case and did not bother to initiate basic investigation into the serious crime. This has been revealed during a probe by the Karnataka Human Rights Commission.

The Commission has ordered a departmental inquiry against five senior police officers in connection with the case on December 5, 2022.

Shivananda B. Bavoora from Yadgir had filed a complaint in this regard with the Commission. He had alleged that his nephew Shankarappa, the mentally challenged victim was admitted to the Fosa Humanitarian Hospital on September 12, 2017 as an in-patient for mental treatment.

The victim was shifted to Ekata Charitable Trust, an orphanage in Bengaluru on September 18, 2018 without the family’s permission. Later, the trustees Sharada Noolimatha, manager Sridhar Vasudeva Chouhan and assistant Rajendra aka Rajanna told Bavoora that they would get a surgery done from foreign doctors.

They got Rs 1 lakh from the complainant, and informed him they would spend Rs 4 lakh for surgery.

On December 28, 2018, manager Sridhar Vasudeva Chouhan had called the complainant and informed him that the victim had escaped from the premises of the Nimhans Hospital in Bengaluru. He had also shown him the duplicate receipt in the name of the victim.

Growing suspicious about the development, the complainant had lodged a complaint with Siddapura police station on June 7, 2019. He explained in his complaint to the Commission that the police officers hushed up the case without filing the FIR. He had also mentioned about the selling of the kidneys to the Sapthagiri Hospital of Bengaluru for Rs 10 lakh.

The Human Rights Commission had sent the complaint to the Karnataka State Police Chief and ordered a probe of the matter by the Deputy SP ranked officer.

The probe has revealed that the allegations of the complainant were true. It also said that the police when they registered FIR have not mentioned the reason for delay in filing FIR.

The probe revealed that accused Sridhara Vasudeva Chouhan clearly stated about selling the kidney of the victim, his suspicious death at the Sapthagiri hospital and cremation of his body by giving a different identity. In spite of the statement, the police took another statement from him and projected it just as a missing case.

The investigation officers did not bother to inquire about anyone in the case and did not even check the CCTV footage. They got a statement from the hospital regarding the death and closed the case, the probe revealed.

The probe report says that the police did not look into the missing persons from the Ekatha Charitable Trust. It also stated that there was a possibility of a big scandal and proper investigation would reveal it.

The Commission stated in its order that the police had taken a second statement and converted accused persons into witnesses.

The Commission recommended further investigation of the case by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

“It also directed to provide Rs 14 lakh compensation to the mother of the victim within a period of one month. The compensation amount should be taken from the salaries of the accused police officers,” the order said.

The member of the Commission K.B. Changappa has stated in his order that the investigation by the Commission has proved that the police have delayed filing of FIR regarding the case registered in 2020 at Siddapur police station in Bengaluru by six months. The probe also proved the dereliction of duty and improper investigation on part of the police.

The Commission has recommended the DG and IGP Praveen Sood to conduct departmental inquiry regarding the case.

The probe has been recommended against then Siddapura police station inspectors M.L. Krishnamurthy, B. Shankarachar, PSI’s V. Santhosh, J.M. Abraham, head constable K.S. Gopal.

The Commission had stated that Rs 3 lakh should be collected from the salary of inspector Krishnamurthy, Rs 7 lakh from inspector Shankarachar, Rs 1.50 lakh each from PSI’s Santhosh and Abraham. Rs 1 lakh from the head constable Gopal.

Although the complaint was given in September 2019, it was not lodged. The news of the kidney of the victim being sold for Rs 10 lakh had come out after several months. The police had then lodged a complaint on March 7, 2020. Shivanand, the relative of the victim had also lodged a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission citing the dereliction of duty by the police.

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