An abortion practitioner, Saraswati Munde, who fed the bodies of girl babies killed in abortions to dogs to hide the sex-selection abortions he and a partner were doing, has been released on bail.
Beed, India is the location of an abortion clinic that was responsible for killing a woman in a failed abortion. The husband and wife doctor team who run the medical clinic where she obtained the abortion now face criminal charges.
The police have booked the couple for culpable homicide under section 304 of the IPC. However, the health department has asked the police department to also add the charge of death due to negligence under section 304 (A) of the IPC against the couple.
The Times of India has the latest on the case:
A local court at Beed granted bail to Dr Saraswati Munde, wife of Dr Sudam Munde, both of whom were booked for illegally aborting the foetus of a woman that resulted in the latter’s death. She would, however, continue to remain in jail in connection with the illegal sex determination case of 2010.
Ambejogai sessions judge S T Mahajan granted her bail on a surety of Rs 3 lakh. But she has been refrained from resuming her medical practice till the case is on. Dr Saraswati also has to present herself to the local police station in Parali every alternate day. She was arrested along with her husband more than a month after six months pregnant Vijaymala Pattekar suffered hemorrhage and died on May 18. The doctor couple violated the crucial law that does not allow abortion after 20 weeks.
The doctor couple was booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act as well as the PCPNDT Act. The Munde Hospital run by the couple at Parali taluka in Beed was found to be the den for carrying out illegal sex determination and abortions after Pattekar’s case had come to light.
Dr Saraswati had been lodged in the Nashik jail with her husband after June when they had surrendered to the Parali police after being in hiding for over three weeks.
Other reports show the couple were on the run for the last one month and had support from local in evading police.
Investigating officer Swati Bhor, who is a sub-divisional police officer at Ambejogai, said it has come to light that the Mundes evaded arrest by constantly switching their locations. “We will investigate where they stayed and who helped them,” she said.
Karuna Taksal, a lawyer for PCPNDT cases in Beed district, government pleader Asgar Ali and assistant public prosecutor advocate Atul Tandale sought police custody for the Mundes. “There were several grounds on which police custody of the duo was sought. Most important was fact that despite pendency of two cases for similar offence, they allegedly continued with their
Besides, investigation into who all helped the couple while they were on the run is on,” said Taksal. “The police is also probing into how many more women underwent illegal abortions, which sonography centres did the Munde couple refer pregnant women to go for sonography, in how many cities was their network spread and how many doctors were involved,” added Taksal.
India Today, which spoke with Varsha Deshpande of Lek Ladki Abhiyan, an NGO working against sex-selection abrotion, provided more details on how bodies would be fed to dogs to hide the evidence:
“A person even saw a foetus being fed to the animals. This is known to everyone in Beed, but the police are not taking action as Munde is influential,” Deshpande said.
She added that some other doctors in Beed kept dogs for the same purpose – to avoid the hassle of disposing of the bodies.
Health Minister Shetty said: “I have heard of the practice but have no evidence.”
He added that since the local police seemed to be under a lot of “pressure”, he had decided to ask the crime branch to investigate the latest case.
The PTI news service has more on the abortion death and the reason for the abortion — sex-selection:
Beed district has become infamous for the worst child sex ratio in Maharashtra, as per the 2011 census.
Dr Sudam Munde and Dr Sarswati Munde, the accused husband-wife, run a clinic in the Parli tehsil, police said. According to the police, the victim woman, Vijaymala Patekar, died during abortion procedure at Munde’s clinic yesterday.
As the victim’s relatives got angry, the doctors themselves informed the police about the incident.
According to the police, Patekar had four daughters, and did not want another girl child. Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Shrikant Dhivare told PTI that no one from the victim’s family had filed any complaint against the doctors.
Case was registered against Dr Sudam Munde and his wife for causing death by negligent act under the IPC, and also under Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prevention) Act.
Last year, two people were arrested in India after another woman died in a botched abortion.
Women in India are frequent victims of failed legal abortions as a woman died in May 2010 from an abortion at a Marie Stopes International abortion business. According to the Republica newspaper, a woman identified as Durga Devi Khadka went to a Marie Stopes center for an abortion of her 10-week-old unborn child. She died at the MSI facility located in Damak Municipality-15 of Jhapa district.
Beed has one of the worst male-female gender ratios in India — 801 girls being born per 1,000 boys, according to the 2011 census — and the numbers are attributed to female infanticide and sex-selection abortions.
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In January 2010, an Indian doctor was arrested in a newly-reported case of a botched abortion that killed a woman. The Times of India indicated the Vikhroli police recently registered a case of medical malpractice against Dr. Vinod Ganpati Prabhu.
Prabhu did an abortion on a woman who was three months pregnant in April 2006 at the Priya Maternity Home.
The newspaper indicates a panel of five doctors from JJ Hospital investigated the failed abortion and submitted their report to police on December 30, 2009, asking that Prabhu be charged.
Before that, LifeNews.com reported on another Indian woman who died from a botched legal abortion and was at least the third to die from a legal abortion and have her case make the Indian media that year.