Investigation against Christian hospice over allegations of human organ trade

The authorities in Tamil Nadu are investigating a Christian hospice in Salavakkam, over allegations of torturing elderly people and exporting human body parts. As per the allegations raised by locals of the village the hospice, which is a Christian equivalent to a Hindu ashram, harvests human organs and bones to sell them in foreign countries.

Located in Salavakkam Village of Kanchipuram district, the St Joseph’s hospice calls itself a house for “dying destitutes.” The alleged dubious activities of the institution first came into light when the local villagers recovered some elderly people along with a dead body and bags of vegetables from a truck coming out of the hospice. As per reports the authorities who are now investigating into the matter have discovered tunnels of upto 30 feet depth in the hospice.

The entire matter came into public notice when local Tamil News channel called Thanti TV aired a ground report about the grievances of locals against the religious institution. As per locals, sounds of people screaming and crying can be heard coming out of the building at midnights. They said that kids are afraid to go near the premises. The locals further alleged that polluted water comes out of hospice and mixes with lake during rain season, affecting people’s health. The investigation commenced only after the locals protested against the hospice.

One woman who was being transported by the truck along with a dead body and bags of vegetables, has made shocking allegations against the institute. The woman who is named Annamal and hails from Thiruvallur alleged that the hospice kept her forcefully without her will. “They took me away on Saturday or Sunday. I was in Little Mount. When I went inside, I saw that there were two dead bodies there. The other people who were there were very sick. After seeing that, I thought, I am well – why have they brought me here with the dead? I only wanted a hostel to stay, not an ashram like this,” she said.

“I said, I don’t like it, I don’t like it, I don’t like it! I told them I won’t stay there. Every day I begged them, but I wasn’t allowed to go,” Annamal added.

When asked what else was inside the vehicle, the old lady said, “Only vegetables. There were bags of vegetables stacked. They put the body in after I got into the vehicle.”
“I pleaded with them to let me go in Tambaram. I asked them with folded hands. But the boy (driver) didn’t stop,” she further said.

However in 2009 the hospice was greatly appreciated by the Hindu. In a story published on 23rd July, 2009, the media outfit had claimed that people from all around the world come at St Joseph’s hospice for a peaceful death. It may only be called an irony that according to some people, those who are brought at the hospice die within a week.

The St Joseph’s hospice is run by a Christian charitable trust named ‘light for the blind,’ founded in 2000. According to the organization its main aim is to take care of “dying destitutes” in Tamil Nadu and Southern India. Some top Christian clerics and churches from Southern India are affiliated with the organization which run similar hospices across Tamil Nadu.