Two aborted foetuses found in a sewer in Beed

Jun 4, 2012,  TNN[ Sandeep Ashar ]

MUMBAI: Barely a day after two female foetuses were found aborted in a sewer in Beed, state officials on Sunday recovered two more including one from Beed.

The second one was found dumped near a residential pocket in Solapur. The undisposed body of a stillborn girl child was also recovered from a farm near Udagir in Latur district. The disturbing developments have further embarrassed a state already grappling with a poor child sex ratio (925 girls for every 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group). The government has now deployed teams across the state to trace those indulging in such heinous crimes. It is also mulling over changing norms regarding to availability of over-the-counter abortion pills, and procedures related to sonography tests for pregnant patients.

Of the two fresh cases of female foetuses unearthed, one was detected from a village in Beed, which has a child sex ratio of 801:1,000 and has attained the dubious tag of becoming the “centre of female infanticide” in the state. Barely a week ago, a case where a doctor couple-Sudam and Saraswati Munde-was charged for illegally aborting a girl child and feeding the aborted foetuses to dogs had come to light in the region. The fresh foetus was recovered at the time of investigations into the foetuses recovered on Saturday. Dr Shivaji Sanap, a private maternity home owner, and two of his employees have been arrested for aborting all the three foetuses found in Beed and disposing of them. The police have also arrested two relatives of a married woman for forced abortion in one among the three cases. The remaining two belonged to unmarried women, state officials said. A district court on Sunday sentenced the five arrested to police custody till June 6. The second one was found dumped near a residential pocket in an urban locality in Solapur. The body of the stillborn was detected from Udagir in the afternoon, state health minister Suresh Shetty said. “The delivery was carried out at the government hospital, but the dead body was not properly disposed of. Further investigations are on,” Shetty said.

Following the new cases, the state health department has deployed teams to inspect maternity homes and sonography centres across the state. Instructions to inspect all such centres in Beed have been issued. Senior police, health and revenue department officials have been dispatched to Beed to monitor investigations. To curb such incidents, the state government is also considering some major changes in rules and strategies. The fresh spate of incidents has yet again raised the debate on easy availability of over-the-counter abortion pills. State chief secretary Jayantkumar Banthia, who is also in charge of the public health department, said that the option of limiting the availability of such pills to designated centres to ensure that these medicines are not dispensed without a medical prescription was being considered. Even state health minister Suresh Shetty endorses this option to ensure that the pills are dispensed only under medical supervision. Shetty also disclosed plans to make it mandatory for gynaecologists and general practitioners to notify the state government about referral of pregnant women to sonography centres. Such centres will also be asked to similarly provide information to the state. “While sonography centres came under the scanner, medics who refer such patients often go scot free,” Shetty said. The state is also planning to ask manufacturers and distributors of sonography machines to submit list of radiologists to whom the machines are being sold. Shetty said a meeting of manufacturers and distributors would soon be held.

A new strategy is being devised for Beed and Parli. The feasibility of banning all stand-alone private sonography centers and permitting sonography across government-run centres is being explored. Shetty said plans to maintain an inventory of pregnant patients travelling to Beed from other areas are also being considered. CM Prithviraj Chavan said that a meeting with representatives of the Medical Council of Indian and the Indian Medical Association to discuss options will be held this week.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

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