A state vigilance squad headed by former DIG CG Kumbhar, and a deputy director-level health officer, unearthed a major sex determination racket involving six people — three of them allegedly doctors — in Satara District, with the help human right activist Dr Yamini Adbe.
The trap was laid in Mhaswad village in Maan taluka on Saturday evening. Unfortunately, the agent, who disclosed his identity as Arun Sawant, managed to flee from the spot subsequent to accepting Rs 20,000 from a decoy couple, after a person identified as Dr Patil conducted a sonography in an Omni van on the pregnant woman. The sonography was done en route to Pimpri village from Devdi, where the couple was first taken to Chaitanya Clinic by Dr Dilip Rajage.
How it all began
The plan for the sting operation was put together, after a person approached the state vigilance squad complaining about an alleged doctor having approached his pregnant wife and pestering her for determining sex of her unborn child during her brief admission in Dr Bansal Hospital on Dehu Road. Perplexed by this, the couple went to social worker Anis Khan, who then informed human rights activist Dr Yamini Adbe. Dr Adbe tipped of the state vigilance squad about this alleged racket, and convinced a pregnant acquaintance to act as a decoy.
CG Kumbhar said that the decoy and her husband got in touch with Arun Sawant, who promised them that he would conduct ultrasound and disclose the gender of the foetus. Kumbhar said, “As had been previously decided, the couple reached the Chaitanya Clinic in Devdi. But, Sawant suspected something was amiss, and he took them in an Omni van, and en route to Pimpri village, a doctor conducted ultrasound on the woman. Sawant told the couple to distribute ‘barfi’, indicating that the unborn child was female.”
Kumbhar and the rest of the team, including two doctors, were close on the heels of Sawant, and they soon discovered the van parked outside Chaitanya Clinic. On entering the premises, they found another lady in one of the locked rooms. The state health officer, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The lady has confessed that the doctor in Gondawale Khurd had referred her to Dr Dilip Rajage, who runs Chaitanya Clinic, to identify the sex of the foetus.
The woman said that she already has two daughters.” “According to Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, only a medical superintendent can register an offence. In this case, the charge sheet will be filed against six persons, including three doctors, for their involvement in running an illegal sex determination racket,” Kumbhar said.
More to come?
The health officer confirmed to MiD DAY that so far, the involvement of six people in the racket has been established. “According Dr Rajage’s statement, one more doctor was mixed up in this racket. We have yet to ascertain the name of the doctor from Gandawale Khurd, who had referred the other lady found locked inside Rajage’s clinic.
Arun Sawant, who was acting as an agent, a Dr Patil, who performed ultrasound on the decoy patient, and Dr Yashwant Satpute, who had approached the patient admitted in Dr Bansal Hospital earlier this month, are yet to be nabbed,” he said. Kumbhar added, “We have registered a separate case against Sawant for trying to destroy evidence.”
Assistant inspector S M Kore from Mhaswad police station (under Satara police) said, “We suspect patients from all over the state used to come here for sex determination tests. Sawant was an agent, acting as a link between patients and doctors. He has escaped and a search is on. We are keeping a close watch on Dr Dilip Rajage, and we will definitely be able to get to the bottom of this.” Despite several calls by MiD DAY, Dr Yamini Adbe, who played a pivotal role in exposing this racket, could not be contacted.