"He sold my kidney because my family couldn’t meet his demand for dowry."
An Indian man faces accusations of ‘stealing’ his wife’s kidney in lieu of dowry. West Bengal police arrested him and his brother after his 28-year-old wife filed a complaint against them.
Identified as Rita Sarkar, she claims that Biswajit Sarkar ‘stole’ the kidney after her family failed to pay his dowry demands.
She told Hindustan Times how he arranged for an appendicitis surgery for her in 2016. The 28-year-old said: “Around two years ago, I began suffering from acute stomach ache.
“My husband took me to a private nursing home in Kolkata, where he and the medical staff told me that I would be fine after removing my inflamed appendix through surgery.”
He allegedly told her to keep the operation a secret from others. However, Rita’s stomach pains only increased as she recounted: “I begged him to take me to a doctor to treat the pain, but he ignored me.”
Instead, her family allegedly took her to North Bengal Hospital and College in late 2017. Staff performed a medical examination on her and discovered one of her kidneys was missing. The 28-year-old sought a second opinion from a nursing home in Malda.
However, this examination also showed similar results. Rita told Hindustan Times:
“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.”
Throughout their 12-year marriage, Biswajit would reportedly insist for dowry on frequent occasions, costing up to Rs 2 lakh (approx. £2,200). The Indian wife also claimed her husband and in-laws would often abuse and torture her.
While officers have arrested Biswajit and his brother Shyamal on 5th February 2018, their mother, Bularani, is reportedly on the run.
Police Inspector Udayshankar Ghosh confirmed the arrests to The Telegraph and added:
“A case was registered under provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act. We have also charged three persons with [an] attempt to murder and bride torture.”
According to reports, the husband has confessed that he sold the kidney to a Chinese businessman. However, he allegedly claimed Rita had agreed to donate the organ.
Udayshankar also revealed that officers suspect a kidney smuggling gang may have connections to the crime, saying: “We suspect the involvement of a racket.”
An unidentified officer also told reporters: “Murshidabad police will raid the Kolkata hospital where the surgery was conducted. A special team has been formed to investigate.”
While this case itself will likely shock many, it shows how dowry is still a prevalent issue in India. Despite the country banning it in 1961, the tradition of a bride and her family paying a marriage dowry still continues.
This means similar cases emerging where husbands still demand dowry from their wives and in-laws. Back in November 2017, a woman claimed her husband would abuse her often over dowry, as well as insisting she make him biryani daily.
In the case of Rita and Biswjait, police will continue their investigations. But it highlights how India still needs to tackle this concerning issue and its impact on marriage.