Are these foetuses from Maharashtra?

Just days after 13 foetuses and three uteruses were recovered from under a bridge on Hiranyakeshi river near Sankeshwar in Hukkeri taluka of Belgaum district on January 27, it has been learnt that officials of Karnataka police would be seeking help from state police officials to crack the case.

Belgaum Superintendent of Police (SP) Sandeep Patil would be sending police teams to the Gadhinglaj and Kolhapur for further investigation.

Whodunnit: The spot from where 13 foetuses and three uteruses were recovered on Jan 27; (inset) Belgaum SP Sandeep Patil. Pics/Hansraj Patil

Soon after the discovery, Karnataka police officials started probing the case from various angles including illegal dumping of biomedical waste and illegal abortion. Though the medical report of the foetuses is awaited from the forensic department of the Belgaum Institute of Medical Science (BIMS), the Karnataka police have formed three teams to investigate into the illegal abortion aspect. The teams include officials from Hukkeri, Gokak and Mudlagi and would be headed by circle police inspectors of these areas.

Patil said, “The teams have searched various hospitals, suspected of conducting illegal abortions, from Sankeshwar and nearby areas and are now headed for Nipani and Gadhinglaj. Once done, their next stop will be Kolhapur.”

Officials said the case would be cracked soon, as they are about to reach its conclusion. According to sources from the Sankeshwar police station, hospitals in Karnataka are likely to get a clean chit following which the case would then be transferred to the Maharashtra police. The SP confirmed that they would be seeking help from officials of the state police to solve the case.

Several officials working on the case suspect the foetuses and uteruses could be specimens or cases of illegal abortions from various hospital in Karnataka, Maharashtra or Goa.

President of the Indian Medical Association (Belgaum) Dr Satish Dhamankar said, “The area where the foetuses were found is located in the region where the three states share border. But there could be various others possibilities.”

Ruling out the speculation that the foetuses and uteruses could be biomedical waste from Karnataka, Dhamankar said, “Belgaum started its biomedical waste treatment project before 1999. So there is no possibility of them being biomedical waste from here.”

When contacted, Hukkeri Taluka Health Officer Dr Shashikant Munnyal said, “A criminal case has been filled against unknown persons in this matter and have been charged under Section 318 of the IPC. The foetuses have been to the forensic department of the BIMS for further tests. Since the investigation is on, I can’t tell you anything more than this.” 

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