HAFIZABAD-The police have smashed a racket of imposters involved in extracting and selling bone marrow and other fluid from backbones of scores of girls on the pretext of providing heavy amount from Prime Minister’s Jahez Fund.

The police arrested Muhammad Aslam Hunjra, his wife Amina Bibi, ringleader of the racket Nadeem Iqbal and Irfan.

According police sources, Nadeem Iqbal Ghaffari, resident of Mohallah Sharifpura and his accomplices would lure young poor and illiterate girls into visiting the house of Aslam Hunjra on Kassoki Road where they had set up a so-called clinic for medical check-up.

According to complainant Sarfraz Ahmad, the gang members took bone marrow of his daughter Kinza, 17, when they called her for a ‘medical check-up’, which they said, was necessary for them to financially help the family prepare her dowry.

“The group had approached the family promising to help them prepare dowry for their daughter,” the father said. He said he willingly agreed, over which the racket members asked him to sign a form and get a medical check-up of the girl.

The father said the accused told him they would take a blood sample from his daughter for the medical check-up. However, he added, when they returned home, his daughter started feeling weak. They then took her to a doctor who told them her bone marrow had been extracted.

Thereupon, the police raided the so-called clinic and arrested Aslam Hunjra and his wife Amina Bibi and seized large quantity of syringes, copies of CNIC and pictures of scores of the affected girls. The other two members of the gang including ringleader Nadeem Iqbal and Irfan managed to escape from the scene. However, the police chased them and arrested promptly. The ringleader Nadeem Iqbal, who posed himself as an employee of DHQ Hospital, confessed that he had extracted bone marrow and other fluid from the backbones of 15 girls so far and have sold them to one Sajidan, an employee of the Urology Ward of DHQ Hospital Hafizabad.

When questioned, a renowned surgeon admitted that bone marrow can be extracted from the backbone to transplant it for curing Aplaspic Amenia.

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of the bones in the body, including the hip and thigh bones. Bone marrow contains immature cells, called stem cells.

Many people with blood cancers, such as leukaemia and lymphoma, sickle cell anaemia, and other life-threatening diseases, rely on bone marrow or cord blood transplants to survive.

MINISTER TAKES NOTICE

Meanwhile, Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister for Health Services, Regulations and Coordination took notice and strongly condemned the extracting of bone marrow etc. from the backbones of girls. She also constituted a five members inquiry committee headed by DC Saleha Saeed to carry out a probe and ascertain facts within three days so that strict action could be taken against the accused. Other members of the inquiry committee include Assistant Commissioner Imtiaz Shahid Gondal, DHQ Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Rehman Azhar, the Saddr Circle DSP and a representative of the Punjab Health Department.