A fortnight after 13 foetuses were discovered in the Hiranyakeshi river in Sankeshwar area, in Belgaum, the cops are still clueless regarding the source of the biomedical waste. A team headed by members of the District Health Office is now looking at various medical colleges and hospitals for some clue regarding the dumping.
“After the incident came to light, we ordered Taluka health officers to check hospitals in the area and teams have already started checking hospitals and sonography centres,” said Dilip Kumar Manoli, District Health Officer, Belgaum. According to officials of the forensic department, the foetuses belong to some college lab as they were preserved in formalin. “There is no problem with the bio medical waste treatment in Belgaum,” said Manoli. “However, a medical college or hospital might have dumped them in the river by mistake.”
“We are still investigating the case and three teams are looking into the matter. One team has also been sent to Gadhinglaj, in Kolhapur. We are concentrating on hospitals or medical colleges as a source of the dumped foetuses,” said Ramchandra Ballari, PSI, Sankeshwar police station. “As per instructions, if we are finding any irregularities in hospitals or sonography centres, adequate action is also being initiated.” Following checks, two hospitals have been slapped with a show cause notice and two sonography centres have been sealed due to some irregularities.
Action has also been taken against 32 fake doctors in the area. According to Taluka Health officer S V Munyal, the collector held meetings with hospitals and issued strict warnings against illegal practices. Sonography centres have been strictly instructed to maintain records.
On January 27, thirteen foetuses and three uteri were found under the bridge in Hiranyakeshi river in Sankeshwar. Following the discovery, district officers (Health) and the police went on high alert and began investigations, as there were possibilities of illegal abortions and female foeticide being carried out in the nearby areas.