Photo: Aroone Harry's Tweet

BIHAR, INDIA —  A 38-year-old mother in Muzaffarpur who had her kidney “stolen” in September last year suffered a double whammy when her husband deserted her at the time when she needed his support the most.

Sunita Devi, a mother of three, is currently admitted to the hospital and surviving on regular dialysis. Used to be a daily wage worker, she is unfit for work and is now left with her children to take care of with no means of income.

“I have three children. My husband left them with me. Now I am admitted to the hospital. I am counting the days of death. I don’t know how many days are left for me. But what was my mistake? What will happen to these children after me? How will they survive?”

India Today reported on Monday (30 Jan) that Aklu Ram, Sunita’s husband still at her side until a few days ago. He was ready to donate his kidney to her wife, but unfortunately, it did not match.

He had earlier expressed hope that the government would arrange a kidney transplant. “I am no longer earning anything due to her critical health condition as we have been in the hospital for over two months for her treatment and dialysis. We have no money to buy biscuits and milk for the children. The sooner a transplant takes place, the better it is for us as we want to go back to the village,”

However, they quarrelled over some issues recently, and her husband ran away. Aklu Ram allegedly told Sunita that he couldn’t live his life with her now, and that’s why he left.

“I don’t care if you live or die” husband told Sunita

“I used to work as a labourer when I was healthy and used to take care of the family. Now that I am unwell, he left me and said,’ it is difficult to live with you now. I don’t care if you live or die.’, ” Sunita told the media while wiping tears from her cheeks. Her husband was previously reported as a landless farm labourer.

“I don’t know if I will survive. My life has already turned into a hell,” Sunita sees her future as grim and full of uncertainty.

While the hospital is also making efforts to help Sunita, but they have yet to find any donors with matchable kidneys for her.

On 3 September last year, Sunita complained about abdominal pain and went to a private clinic in Bariyarpur village, Muzaffarpur district.

She was told by the doctors that she had a uterus infection and needs to be removed. Sunita’s family members filled the consent form for the operation.

However, her two kidneys were allegedly removed by a doctor without any approval or informing her kin.

Sunita’s condition worsened following the surgery, and was rushed to Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in the district.

The kidney theft only came to light when the doctors shockingly discovered that Devi’s kidneys were missing.

As Sunita is not able to survive without kidneys, she has been depending on regular dialysis at the SKMCH.

“Since Sunita has no kidneys, she could die if she does not have dialysis for even one day,” said Dr BS Jha, superintendent of SKMCH.

An initial probe had revealed that there was no operation theatre in the private clinic and it lacked all basic facilities.

Accused arrested in November 2022

On 17 November, a key accused in the Muzaffarpur kidney scandal, Pawan Kumar Singh, was arrested by the police after he absconded for two months after the scandal was exposed. Pawan’s family, including his wife, has reportedly fled the village earlier in fear of a forcible transplant as per Sunita’s demand.

He was a member of a surgical team that performed surgery on the victim, Sunita and removed both her kidneys.

Pawan fled to Delhi and took shelter in the house of a friend, and he confessed to the police that he was planning to flee to Bhutan, “but before this I wanted to meet my family members. So I reached home but was arrested.”

According to The Siasat Daily, Pawan Singh revealed that the victim was operated on by Dr R.K. Singh and a few other nurses.

Pawan claimed that he had gone to pick up his children from school at that time. But he found that the operation was completed after he returned to the clinic.

The doctors referred the victim to a hospital when they realised her health had deteriorated.

“They have sent me with the patient and her family members to PMCH where I learnt that both the kidneys were removed. Then, I silently escaped from PMCH and reached Delhi,” Pawan confessed to the police.

Pawan has also reportedly revealed that he was merely Class X educated and worked as a fruit seller in Bhutan before returning to Beriyarpur during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has purportedly admitted that during the operation, both the kidneys were removed because Dr Singh suspected them to be a big tumour.

Later, both kidneys wrapped in cloth were allegedly thrown into a nearby field. There have reportedly been more than two dozen “surgeries” at the clinic, one of which had resulted in the patient’s death.

DSP, Muzaffarpur, Manoj Pandey said that so far there is no evidence of human organ trade in this incident.

“It seems to be a case of negligence. We have arrested one of the accused and the raids are on to nab others. The actual reason of the incident will be ascertained only after the arrest of main accused Dr R.K. Singh.”

Dr R K Singh, is still absconding and the police have failed to arrest him. The police are also considering the possibility that Singh might have forged his MBBS degree.

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