Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has said it will take up with Karnataka the need for joint efforts to prevent women being taken to border towns for female foeticide. The government suspects that a cross-border abortion racket is in operation after 19 aborted female foetuses were found dumped in a stream at a village in Sangli, bordering Karnataka, on Sunday (March 5).
“Maharashtra government will take up the issue of female foeticide with Karnataka to prevent such cases, especially after the Sangli incident,” state health minister Deepak Sawant told PTI.
Nineteen aborted female foetuses were found dumped near a stream at a village in Sangli district of western Maharashtra by the police. Probing the case of a pregnant woman’s death during an abortion, the police had reached the stream in Mhaisal village where the foetuses were found.
Sangli superintendent of police Dattatray Shinde had said the death of a 26-year-old pregnant woman on February 28 blew the lid off the “racket”.
The woman had died during an abortion at a private hospital run by a homoeopath, who is on the run, the police said. “As the villagers suspected a foul play in the woman’s death, they approached police, following which the racket was busted,” Shinde said. The woman was taken to the hospital by her husband a few days back for an abortion as she was carrying a girl child for the third time.
Sawant said a committee headed by chief secretary Sumit Malik was set up to conduct an investigation in the matter and co-ordinate with various departments to curb such practices.
There are also instances of women from Maharashtra being taken to border areas of Karnataka for abortion. In such cases, Maharashtra Police cannot directly go there and initiate action, Sawant said. “We have also asked the Sangli District medical officer and civil surgeon to file their reports on Mhaisal incident. Once the report comes, there will be appropriate action,” Sawant said, adding search was on for the absconding doctor.
“Such cross border nexus does exist and they profit from loopholes in the policing system and lack of communication between the two state governments,” a government official said, requesting not to be identified.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra women and child welfare minister Pankaja Munde said the government has asked three officials from Sangli and two from Pune to investigate the matter and submit a report.
“Whatever happened in Sangli is condemnable. The issue of saving daughters needs support from parents too. Parents should be motivated to support their children irrespective of their gender,” she told reporters.
A case has been registered against the woman’s husband and the doctor.