Police in Mumbai, India's commercial metropolis, have arrested an ayurvedic doctor and six of his associates for duping several kidney patients with promises of permanent cure but leaving them in the lurch, after fleecing them.
The arrested have been identified as Dr Shyam Sunder Sharma, son Ravindra Sharma, Rajesh Shirke (who owns a medical shop) and touts named Raju Ashok Jadhav, Swami Satyapa Vedu, Suresh Shirke and Babi Yellappa Vedu. All have been remanded to police custody.
Senior inspector (crime branch's unit 11) Feroz Patel said that the case was brought to light by Sanjay Patil, a former army man whose daughter Deepali was suffering from kidney failure.
Babi, the woman in the gang, befriended Deepali outside a private clinic in Malad where the latter had gone for dialysis. "Babi told Deepali that she knew some ayurvedic doctors who could treat her disease permanently for Rs 25,000 to 35, 000," said Patel.
Deepali and her father approached the ayurvedic doctor, Sharma, at his clinic in Malad. Sharma asked for Rs 35,000 and wrote out a list of raw materials such as 'swanra bhasm' camphor, gold chooran.
He was also particular that the materials be procured only from Rajesh Shirke's ayurveda shop. "When Patil went to Shirke's shop, two touts engaged themselves in conversation with them and claimed to have been cured of similar problems by using medicines purchased from that very shop," the police offiail said.
Convinced, Patil then ordered the said medicines which cost around Rs 1.5 lakh, Patil returned to the Shrike's two more times, but then there was no improvement in Deepali's condition. By this time, Sharma had started avoiding Patil.
This prompted Patil to approach JCP (crime) Rakesh Maria. "It appears that the accused have cheated the victim to the tune of Rs 6 to 7 lakh. We have sent the samples of the so-called ayurvedic medicines for experts to analyse whether it is genuine," Senior Inspector Patel said.
Apparently quite a few others too have been similarly duped.