Health officials at the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation have been on their toes after a recent sting operation led to unearthing of a sex-selective abortion racket and the arrest of thee agents who brought pregnant women to radiologists. Two doctors,Dr Mahendra Kanade and Vaishali Kanade,have been arrested and the sonography machine of another, Dr Jayashree Swamy,has been sealed,officials said and added that more radiologists are suspected to be involved.
The sting by Lekh Laadki Abhiyaan it had unearthed the racket in Beed recently headed by advocate Varsha Deshpande led to arrest of three agents working for radiologists.
Acting medical officer of the health department of Kolhapur Municipal Corporation,Dr Sunanda Naik told The Indian Express that Dr Mahendra and Vaishali Kanade were arrested for flouting the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. Their nursing home was not registered. They had not registered the abortion centre either.
Acting on a tip-off,Lekh Laadki Abhiyaan coordinator Deshpande took the help of a decoy,a four-month pregnant woman to expose the racket in Kolhapur. On June 11,the pregnant woman was taken to a radiologist who conducted sonography. However,the doctors ‘agent who met her tied a cloth over her eyes and took her to the clinic on a two-wheeler. The charges for detecting the foetus and aborting it was finalised at Rs 17,000, she added.
The abortion date was set as June 26 by which time the agent suspected something amiss and refused to meet the decoy. Deshpande alerted the municipal authorities who traced the mobile phone number of the agent with with police help. Kolhapur municipal commissioner Vijayalakshmi Bidari said police help was immediate and they arrested agents Nikhil Chavan,Shivaji Patil and Raju Patil who revealed the names of the radiologists and other doctors allegedly involved in the racket. According to Naik Dr Jayashree Swamys sonography machine was sealed and a case will be filed against her for violating the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC-PNDT).
The cops also arrested Dr Mahendra Kanade and Dr Vaishali Kanade whose hospital was raided as part of the drive. Abortions had been performed on three women aged 23-28. They were booked for MTP Act violation.