The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Swoop on brothers’ illegal blood bank

Behrampore, Nov. 11: Police here raided a blood bank yesterday that collected blood “illegally” and supplied it to private nursing homes.

A massive police contingent zeroed in on a house in the Natunpara area and seized equipment for collecting and storing blood, but the two men behind the racket escaped.

Sub-divisional police officer Ashis Kumar Mukherjee, who led the crack team, said clandestine operations had been going on in the heart of the town since the past decade. “We had information that two brothers, Shibu and Kalu Das, supplied blood to several prominent nursing homes,” he said.

The blood supplied by the brothers were never tested for pathogens, they were not grouped either. “Deadly diseases can be transmitted if the blood is not tested. But some unscrupulous nursing homes had been making money buying this blood for patients,” Mukherjee said.

Kalu’s wife, Shelly, admitted that her husband sold blood. She also mentioned several doctors who were regular clients. “The nursing homes send people to my husband and he fixes up a donor, collects the blood and sends it to the nursing homes. In most cases, it is an emergency and there is nothing wrong in what he does,” she said.

A neighbour said four or five men always sit in front of the house to donate blood. Sumit Mondal is one such donor. A frail-looking Sumit donates 250 ml every fortnight at Rs 80 a bottle. “I have been driven out of my house. But I need alcohol. I come to Kaluda for the eighty rupees,” he said.

Asghar Sheikh, a cycle-rickshaw driver, had sold his blood for the last time on Saturday. Poverty and addiction had drawn him to Das.

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