On the run for a nearly a week after a woman undergoing illegal abortion at his hospital in Sangli district of Maharashtra died, Babasaheb Khidrapure, a homeopath, was arrested from Miraj area of the district in the early hours of Tuesday. He has confessed to conducting several illegal operations, the police said. Khidrapure was hiding in rural areas of Miraj, and rang up police to inform that he wanted to surrender, Sangli SP Dattatray Shinde said.
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Khidrapure confessed to conducting abortions illegally in three rooms that were converted into a makeshift operation theatre in the hospital building, the police said. He was produced before Judicial Magistrate of First Class K B Chowgule and sent to 10-day police custody.
Khidrapure was absconding since March 1, when a local woman named Swati Jamdade died during a botched-up abortion procedure at Bharati Hospital he runs in Sangli’s Mhaisal village. While probing her death, the police found 19 abandoned foetuses near the hospital.
Khidrapure confessed to inserting Misoprost tablet (used to induce abortion) in the cervix before carrying out abortions, DSP Shinde, who is heading the probe, said. “We are interrogating the hospital compounder, who is a witness,” he added.
According to health officials, another doctor in Mhaisal has been issued showcause notice for allegedly performing surgeries even though his clinic has not been registered.
Dr Archana Patil, Additional Director, State Family Welfare Bureau, visited Mhaisal today. State Home Minister Deepak Kesarkar and State Commission for Women’s chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar also visited the village and criticised district health officials for “neglecting” complaints.