A woman in India has accused her husband of “stealing” her kidney to cover the cost of her dowry. 08-02-2018
The West Bengal woman said her husband arranged for her to go to a private hospital two years ago after she began suffering with suspected appendicitis.
After feeling unwell a few months later, she went to hospital and had a scan which revealed she was missing one of her kidneys.
The woman, named Rita Sarkar, accused her husband of having her kidney removed without her permission and he and his brother were arrested.
Ms Sarkar told Indian media that her in-laws had repeatedly tortured and abused her over the issue of her dowry.
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Dowries – traditionally paid from a bride’s family to a husband’s – have been banned in India since 1961 but many families still demand them, especially in rural areas.
She claims that when she began suffering from stomach pain, her husband took her to a private nursing home.
“He and the medical staff told me that I would be fine after removing my inflamed appendix through surgery,” the Hindustan Times quoted her as saying.
The pain became worse in the months after the operation. “My husband warned me not to disclose the surgery in Kolkata to anyone,” she said.
“I begged him to take me to a doctor to treat the pain, but he ignored me.”
Eventually she went to hospital with her cousin and doctors found her right kidney was missing and her left kidney was inflamed due to a suspected infection.
“I then understood why my husband implored me to keep quiet about the surgery. He sold my kidney because my family couldn’t meet his demand for dowry,” she said.
Her husband Biswajit Sarkar, a cloth merchant, and his brother Shyamal were arrested on Monday. Ms Sarkar’s mother-in-law is currently in hiding, according to local media.
The Telegraph India newspaper quoted police inspector Udayshankar Ghoshas as saying: “A case was registered under provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act. We have also charged three persons with attempt to murder and bride torture.”
Police suspect a kidney smuggling gang is associated with the crime. “A special team has been formed to investigate,” an officer said.