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125 illegal Kidney transplants of this murderer doctor are falsely linked to COVID-19

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A thumbnail photo of a ‘Times of India’ article is being shared on social media with a claim that the Delhi Police has arrested a doctor who killed 125 patients on the pretext of COVID-19 for their kidneys. It is also mentioned that the doctor has killed the patients and fed them to crocodiles. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of this article can be found here

Claim: Delhi Police arrested a doctor who killed 125 patients on the pretext of COVID-19 for their kidneys and fed the patients to crocodiles.

Fact: It is true that the Delhi Police arrested the doctor (Devendra Sharma) shown in the picture. The doctor was a serial killer and was allegedly involved in various criminal activities including around 125 illegal kidney transplants during the years 1994-2004. He was arrested in 2004 and was in Jaipur jail till January 2020, when he was granted parole. But he absconded at the end of his parole in February 2020. Later, he was arrested by Delhi Police in July 2020. The COVID-19 angle to his crimes is false as his alleged 125 illegal kidney transplants were during 1994-2004, almost 16 years before COVID-19 pandemic emerged. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

When we searched for the article mentioned in the photo, it was found that the ‘Times of India’ has recently published the mentioned article. In the article, it was mentioned that the man in the photo is Devendra Sharma, an Ayurvedic practitioner. It can also be read that he was a serial killer and was allegedly involved in various criminal activities including around 125 illegal kidney transplants during the years 1994-2004. He was arrested in 2004 and was in Jaipur jail till January 2020, when he was granted parole. But he absconded at the end of his parole in February 2020. Later, he was arrested by Delhi Police in July 2020. The summary of his life events can be found in the ‘Times of India’ article. But, the COVID-19 angle is not mentioned anywhere in the article.

In the ‘Indian Express’ article, it can be read that the police officials have said ‘during interrogation, he disclosed that from 1994-2004, he got more than 125 kidney transplants done illegally for which he was paid Rs 5-7 lakh each’. The officials have also said ‘the doctor and his associates used to hire taxis and kill the drivers at a secluded place. They used to dump the bodies on the way to Aligarh in Hazara canal, Kasganj, which had crocodiles, and hence there was no chance of retrieval’. So, the alleged 125 kidney transplants were not during COVID-19 times. There is no COVID-19 link to his murders. Multiple news reports regarding Devendra Sharma can be read here, here and here.

To sum it up, the alleged 125 illegal kidney transplants of this murderer doctor during 1994-2004 have been falsely linked to COVID-19.

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