Kolkata: T. Rajkumar, the alleged mastermind of an organ trafficking racket at Delhi’s Indraprastha Apollo hospital, owned two houses, including a palatial building, in Kolkata, and gave lavish four-figure tips to even the local barber.
Rajkumar, who was living for the past three years in the Rajarhat area of the city’s north east fringes close to the airport, posed as a big trader of saline solution “with business interests abroad”.
Rajkumar, who lived with his wife and son, kept aloof from the neighbours.
“I never saw anything suspicious. I only heard that he had business interests abroad, and dealt in saline,” said a middle aged woman, living close to Rajkumar’s house.
“I used to see Rajkumar very rarely. He always used to keep to himself,” she said.
According to the locals, he purchased a small house in the Khamar Shibtala area of Rajarhat in 2013. Recently, he built a huge, luxury edifice 200 metres away from the first house.
On Monday, he had thrown a lavish feast marking his “Griha Pravesh” – house warming ceremony – into the new residence “Seven Hills”.
A day later, well-decorated invitation cards reached the locals for Rajkumar’s marriage anniversary. There were around 250 invitees.
But as the party was on, came the denouement. Delhi Policemen knocked on the door, and arrested him for being the ringleader of the organ racket.
The arrest has come like a bolt from the blue for the neighbours. And stories have now started circulating about the man, his extravagance.
“We are now hearing that he was a spendthrift. That he used to give tips of Rs 1,000 to the barber in local saloons for a mere hair cut. Even while travelling the short distance from his residence to the airport, he used to pay the driver Rs 2,000”.
Rajkumar was on Wednesday presented at the Barasat Court which gave him on a three-day transit remand to Delhi Police.
He has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy for trading in human kidneys.
Police busted the racket on June 2 with the arrest of two Indraprastha Apollo Hospital employees and three touts on the charge of persuading poor people to sell their kidneys.
Investigators have claimed the members of the gang persuaded poor people from various parts of the country to donate their kidney in exchange for money and also prepared forged papers, including the identity proofs to establish the relationship between the donors and the recipients.
The recipients were charged large sums while the donors were fobbed off with paltry amounts.
People falling prey to the gang came from various parts of the country like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Tamil Nadu.