LAHORE: The Human Organ Transplant Agency (HOTA) on Wednesday recommended to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to register a case against Dr Fawad Mumtaz for carrying out illegal kidney transplant of comedian Umar Sharif’s young daughter who had died due to complications on Monday night.
The investigation into the death of Hira Sharif brought forth more revelations as it transpired that a HOTA team had arrested Dr Mumtaz a couple of weeks ago during a raid carried out at his Bahria Town residence on Raiwind Road. The team handed him over to the Faisalabad police to mention arrest of Dr Mumtaz in a case already registered with the Factory Area police station against him.
He was nominated as prime accused in the case which was lodged against him for removing kidney of a poor carpenter during an illegal transplant procedure.
An official said the police later released him on ‘personal surety’ a few days after he performed kidney transplant on Umar Sharif’s daughter in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. The HOTA later took up the matter with the city police officer (CPO) Faisalabad while writing a letter to take action against the police officials who let the doctor off the hook. However, the CPO delayed action for he probably he was ‘backing’ the police officials, he said, adding that finding the police higher-ups unmoved towards this highly sensitive matter, the HOTA on Wednesday took up the matter with IGP Shoaib Dastagir.
The HOTA Director Legal wrote to the IGP that the Authority had requested the CPO (Faisalabad) for action against the police officials who released Dr Fawad Mumtaz.
“Kindly take legal action in this regard so that Dr Fawad Mumtaz could be arrested as soon as possible because he is involved in other illegal kidney transplantation cases as well,” reads the letter addressed to the IGP.
Punjab HOTA Director General Murtaza Haider confirmed to Dawn saying a HOTA team had arrested Fawad from his residence in Lahore and handed him over to the Faisalabad police to initiate criminal action against him.
“So far we have four active criminal cases lodged against Dr Fawad Mumtaz in various parts of the province including Multan, Faisalabad and Lahore”, he said.
He said the Authority had written a letter to the director FIA Punjab to lodge a case against Dr Mumtaz for conducting illegal kidney transplant of Umar Sharif’s daughter.
“Dr Fawad Mumtaz who had conducted the illegal kidney transplant of deceased Hira Sharif is already involved in multiple illegal transplantation cases and even FIRs had already been lodged against him with the FIA in Multan and Lahore,” reads the letter of HOTA.
The HOTA DG told this reporter that Dr Fawad was not a qualified surgeon for kidney transplant nor was he registered with the Authority for the purpose.
“He is a plastic surgeon whereas the kidney transplant procedure is done by a qualified urologist,” said Dr Murtaza. He said Dr Fawad Mumtaz had gone underground to avoid arrest when the joint teams of HOTA and FIA conducted raids at various places.
He said according to the investigation so far Dr Fawad took Hira Sharif to Azad Kashmir at a private house to perform illegal kidney transplant.
Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2020