The illegal abortion racket at Sangli has taken a new twist as DNA tests to identify the sex of the foetuses, out of six samples sent, shows that three were girls and three were boys. A month after 19 foetuses were found buried near homoeopath Dr Babsaheb Khidrapure’s hospital at Mhaisal village in Sangli district, the six samples sent to regional forensic laboratory at Pune for genetic tests have identified three as male and three as female. Forensic experts at government medical college, Miraj, also conducted their own investigations and found the age of the foetuses (from the among the six samples) to be between three and five months. Khidrapure, along with 12 others, have been arrested after the racket came to light when 26-year-old Swati Jamdade from Mhaisal village died on March 1 due to a botched up illegal abortion allegedly performed at Khidrapure’s Bharati hospital.
Police had found at least 19 foetuses dumped near a stream one km away from Khidrapure’s hospital. Khidrapure’s modus operandi was simple. Pregnant women were referred by Khidrapure to his contacts – either doctors or persons with sonography machines around Sangli or even outside Maharashtra in neighbouring Karnataka.
When contacted in Sangli, Superintendent of Police, Sangli, Dattatray Shinde told The Indian Express that they have not received the DNA report. Deepali Kale, Deputy Superintendent of Police investigating the case further pointed out that the DNA test report is awaited from forensic laboratory experts. “We are likely to get it by the end of the week,” Kale said adding that a total of 13 arrests have been made in the case.
According to well informed sources, the report has been despatched from the regional forensic laboratory at Pune. Three from six samples were of boys and three of girls. Nearly 18-19 items were sent for investigations that included samples of cloths and towels which had the aborted foetuses wrapped in them.
When contacted, Dr Rajesh Bardale, Head of the Department of Forensic Medicine, Government Medical College, Miraj told The Indian Express that Swati Jamdade who died during the abortion done illegally by Khidrapure, had the foetus of a girl, between 16-18 weeks old.