Tamil Nadu: NGO For Old & Destitute Accused of Harvesting Bones, Organs Of The Inmates
An NGO named St. Joseph’s Hospice, at Uthiramerur in Kanchipuram district near Chennai has been accused of meting out inhuman treatment towards the inmates, including beating them up with sticks and even using their dead bodies for harvesting bones. It was been alleged that the organs of the inmates were harvested to be sold to other countries.
In the past, this Hospice was also accused of using unauthorised vault to cremate the dead.
Hospice accused of harvesting bones and organs of the inmates
This Hospice, which is an Christian equivalent of an Ashram was founded by Father R.V. Thomas in 2011. There are two more branches of this Hospice, one at Dindigul and other one in Paleshwaram.
The Hospice is registered under under the name ‘Light for the Blind’ as a charitable trust in Tamil Nadu. It was founded in the year 2011 and calls itself a “Home for Dying Destitute”.
The locales were always suspicious of the activities of the NGO. Their suspicions got substantiated after a motorist traveling along the Salavakkam-Edayamputhur road heard the screams of an elderly woman, who called to him from inside the NGO owned ambulance and asked him to save her. When the locale demanded the ambulance to stop, he saw that the ambulance was carrying an elderly man and a woman along with a dead body.
The police arrived on the spot and upon further investigation, the police found out that they have been held captive in the NGO.
On further investigation it came to light that the NGO had 50 rooms with cold storage facility where the bones and organs were stored . The locales also revealed that the inmates of this NGO were brought from several places in Tamilnadu and other parts of the country. The inmates were generally old people who were beaten to death after which their bones were traded off. Notably, none of the locales of the village were employed at the hospice.
Reportedly, about 3000 bodies were recovered which had not been disposed off properly.
When Thanthi TV, a news channel spoke to the local residents of the village, they alleged that the inmates were not given proper burial and the bones were harvested by the authorities of the hospice. It was also alleged that the bodies of the inmates, after their death were kept in a vault for three months
Hospice was accused of improper disposal of dead bodies in the past
Earlier, there was report of NGO not disposing the dead bodies properly. However, nothing about the bone harvesting was known then. When the police questioned Father R.V. Thomas, he claimed that they had obtained permission from the authorities to dispose off bodies using reusable vaults.
Father R.V. Thomas said that such method was being widely adopted in Kerala and in some parts of Dindigul district.
On being questioned by team of officials from Social Welfare Department, headed by District Social Welfare Officer, Sarguna and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Madurantakam, Fr. Thomas said that the Village Administrative Officer was always informed about any death occurring the hospice. However, he was not able to produce proper documents bearing the seal and signature of the VAO on the list of dead persons or the set of documents, except a covering letter addressed to the SP.
When The Logical Indian contacted Salavakkam Police Station, the official confirmed the news and said that the investigations were being carried out.