Wednesday, July 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

4 held for ‘bleeding’ professionals
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 8
In a sensational development, four persons were caught red-handed by the CIA staff while publicly bleeding “professional donors” in the famous Gol Bagh here today.

The police swung into action on a complaint that many nursing homes were collecting blood units in bulk through middlemen or bleeding “professional” donors either in the open (gardens etc) or in their hospital complex to meet their requirement on a daily basis despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the district administration had blacklisted six blood banks which used to indulge in the malpractice and encouraged the sale of blood through professional persons. The units collected in gardens or public places in unhygienic way are reported to be the source for transmitting deadly diseases like AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the VDRL.

According to Mr Kultar Singh, district police chief, the four middlemen who were arrested from Gol Bagh included Raj Kumar, alias Raju, a class IV employee of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Om Parkash, a resident of Rajouri (J&K), Pawan Kumar, alias Pamma, a resident of the Dam Ganj Area here, and Ram Parkash of the Hussainpur locality in Amritsar.

Dr Swami Sharan Sharma, Associate Professor and in charge blood bank, told this correspondent that Raju was transferred to the skin department on his complaint when he was found to be selling blood. He said that the other accused who were arrested by the police were not employees of the hospital.

Replying to a question, Dr Sharma said that the blood bank being run by the state government had been collecting less than 20,000 units from voluntary donors while the demand was for more than 50,000 units. He said the gap of more than 30,000 units was obviously being met with the help of such unscrupulous persons (middlemen) in connivance with private nursing homes.

He alleged that there was definite information that certain private nursing homes would bleed “professional” donors illegally in their complex, hoodwinking the enforcement agencies. He said that he had no legal powers to initiate action against middlemen or nursing homes on his own.

According to sources, the government-run blood bank would supply blood to the private hospitals on a replacement basis only as the blood of same groups used to be bled in private hospitals only.

The police is investigating whether this “scam” has any link with the infamous multi-crore blood scam.

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