Doctor couple arrested for conducting 36 illegal abortions

Shocking news from Solapur has deeply saddened people across the state. As the Akluj police has arrested a doctor couple for conducting illegal abortions at Sia maternity home

Doctor couple arrested for conducting 36 illegal abortions

Female sex ratio has dropped considerably, in comparison to the male sex ratio. Meanwhile, a shocking incident in Solapur has shaken the people. A doctor couple has conducted 36 illegal abortions, in duration of last one-and-a-half year. After receiving a complaint from Varsha Deshpande, from Satara’s ‘Lek Ladaki Abhiyan’, police caught Dr Tejas and Dr Priti Gandhi red-handed by taking a legal action against them. The couple has been sent to police custody for four days.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Satara’s ‘Lek Ladaki Abhiyan’s’, Varsha Deshpande said, “We started the investigation soon as we received the complaint of illegal abortions. We got an anonymous call; who informed us that the doctors are doing illegal gender verification. With the help of a couple, we were successful to get additional information regarding the same. After the conformation of illegal abortions being carried out, we took the help of police and the local administration.”

She added, “Action was taken against the same doctor, in 2006 as well. But after he was released by the court, the government didn’t appeal to the High Court. Maybe, the government and the officers are not taking this incident seriously. The government should take some strict measures to curb the illegal abortions.”

On August 24, along with ‘Lek Ladaki Abhiyan’s’ Chief, Varsha Deshpande, the local administration  raided Dr Gandhi’s Sia maternity and surgical home, where the illegal abortions were conducted.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Mallikarjuna Pattanshetty, Solapur District Civil Surgeon said, “Even though Dr Gandhi didn’t have the permission to conduct an abortion, in the duration of the last one-and-a-half-year, he has conducted 36 illegal abortions. We found medicines which are used for abortions in his hospital’s operation theater and in the other rooms.”

He further said, “According to the information received, sonography was conducted in the same hospital in 5 of 36 cases. Now, with the help of police, we are trying to trace those families whose foetuses were illegally aborted. Action has been taken against the doctor under PCPNDT act.”

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Mangesh Chavan, Akluj’s Deputy Superintendent said, “We have arrested the Gandhi couple under PCPNDT Act and Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 and have been sent in police custody for four days. We have seized all the machines from the hospital and we are investigating where the foetuses have been destroyed, after the illegal abortions were carried out. Along with this, we are trying to find out details of the women who underwent abortions.”

Meanwhile, Indian Medical Association has sent a show cause notice to Dr Tejas and Priti Gandhi and will take stronger steps including suspension as per IMA constitution. IMA Maharashtra state has strongly condensed such deeds and appeals to all its members to refrain from such activity which tarnishes the image of medical profession.

While the female sex ratio in the state in 2015 was 907, it has fallen sharply to 899 in 2016. And to some extent, illegal abortions are responsible for it. The state government claims to take stringent measures to curb illegal abortions. However, this shocking incident  throws a light upon government’s inefficiency to curb illegal abortions.