The sonography machine used by the doctors from Maan taluka to establish the sex of the unborn child of a decoy patient sent by the state vigilance squad was intended for veterinary use.
Medical practitioners associated with the squad claimed that considering the dangers of this practice, the state health department has written to the centre, seeking guidance on the matter. “We are yet to receive guidelines from state health department,” said a doctor with the department.
A day after Mhaswad police lodged a complaint against agent Arun Sawant (resident of Devadi, Maan taluka) for trying to destroy evidence after vanishing from Chaitanya Clinic, cops made a major breakthrough by arresting Dr Dilip Rajage and Dr Vilas Sawant – both residents of Maan taluka – for helping Sawant in committing the offence.
According to the squad members, Dr Sawant was earlier arrested in 2007 under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act for a similar crime. Activist Dr Yamini Adbe said Dr Rajage, who runs Chaitanya Clinic, has completed courses only in electropathy, and was not even qualified to conduct sonography.
Assistant inspector SM Kore said, “Police have apprehended agent Arun Sawant, who was an important link between the doctor from Pune and Dr Vilas Sawant, who conducted sonography inside a van on pregnant women. The physician, who introduced himself as Dr Patil and conducted the test on the decoy patient en route to Pimpri village in Maan taluka, has been identified as Dr Vilas Sawant. We suspect a nexus between the Pune-based doctor and Dr Vilas Sawant through Arun Sawant.”
Kore added, “Police do not have the authority to investigate the cases under PCPNDT Act. Since the three were hand in glove with each other, and were trying to destroy the evidence related to the crime committed, we have booked them under sections 201 and 34 of IPC,” Kore revealed, adding that the three arrested, including the two doctors, have been released on bail.
Meanwhile, the state vigilance squad visited Dr Bansal Hospital on Dehu Road, where Dr Yashwant Satpute had allegedly referred a female patient to Arun Sawant. A member of the squad, who did not wish to be named, said, “The physicians there have told us that Dr Satpute is on leave, as his mother is unwell. We are also trying to establish if more persons are involved in this racket.”
Dr Yamini Adbe, who was part of the sting operation, said that help would be sought from the cyber crime cell to find out the call details of Arun Swant and Dr Satpute. “This information will help us determine the length and breadth of this racket,” she said, adding that the culprits customarily sent patients to Bijapur for abortion. “Pregnant women from Solapur, Gadhinglaj and Satara were usually referred. This current case could just be the tip of the iceberg,” she opined.
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