Indias HRC probes kidney racket involving Lanka

Kanhu was the only son of a menial labourer Barun Behera of Harijan Sahi area in Phulbani. He had to discontinue his studies to do odd jobs to add up to the meagre income of his family. The NHRC intervened in this matter following a complaint filed by human rights activist Akhand. The case taken up by Akhand was related to Kanhu Behera (20) of Phulbani, district headquarters of Kandhamal.Kanhu had agreed to provide one of his kidneys to a person in Berhampur for Rs. 3.5 lakh in April this year. The kidney transplant had been done in a hospital in Sri Lanka. India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has intervened in a case of alleged kidney sale by a dalit youth of Kandhamal district which also involves Sri Lanka.The Hindu newspaper reported that NHRC has sought an Action Taken Reports (ATR) from the concerned collector and Superintendent of Police (SP) within four weeks. The NHRC issued directives to the Kandhamal collector and SP on June 17 to file the ATR. Speaking to The Hindu , Mr Akhand said there are hints that the whole deal of kidney transplant was done through some middlemen.According to him, it is the duty of administration and the police to unearth this racket that persuades the poor to sell off their kidneys.In his petition before the NHRC, Mr Akhand had tried to prove that poverty was the reason behind Kanhu agreeing to sell his kidneyfor money. Akhand had also alleged that nefarious brokers were active in the sale of kidneys belonging to the poor in the State in his petition.According to him, a broker had come in contact with Kanhu to motivate him to sell one of his kidneys to arrange money for construction of a house for his family.“Acute poverty was the only reason for this dalit boy to opt for selling his kidney as his family doesn’t have a BPL card and has received no government assistance yet,” said Akhand.

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