Two interstate sex determination rackets busted in U’khand in 6 months, both with Haryana links
Two interstate sex determination rackets have been busted in Uttarakhand – both with links to Haryana which is notorious for its skewed sex ratio – within a span of six monthsdehradun Updated: Jan 12, 2018 21:09 IST
Two interstate sex determination rackets have been busted in Uttarakhand – both with links to Haryana which is notorious for its skewed sex ratio – within a span of six months.
The discovery of the alleged rackets has put a spotlight on how Uttarakhand may be turning into a destination for those looking to stealthily carry out gender tests of the unborn child, in a violation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.
On Thursday, PCPNDT committee of Haryana’s Ambala district along with Dehradun district’s inspection and monitoring committee (DIMC) raided a private diagnostic center on Haridwar Road for allegedly conducting sex determination tests.
The raid was conducted after Ambala’s DIMC reported the alleged PCPNDT violation by the clinic to their Dehradun counterparts, a top district official said.
“Two ultrasound machines were seized at the center. We also seized ₹25,000 in cash used during the transaction,” Dehradun sub divisional magistrate (sadar) Pratyush Singh, who led the joint team, said.
He further said that two agents from Ambala and one agent from Almora who allegedly brought pregnant women to Dehradun for the sex determination tests, were also arrested during the raid.
Haryana and Dehradun police personnel were also present during the raid.
“We are taking action against the center and the agents as per the PCPNDT Act,” Dehradun district chief medical officer Dr YS Thapliyal said.
In August last year, a team of Haryana’s health department from Gurugram and Rohtak districts had busted another illegal sex determination racket being run from an ultrasound center in Roorkee in Haridwar district, even as the local health authorities had no hint about it.
Four accused, including a radiologist and three agents, were arrested during the raid for their alleged involvement in the racket that was being allegedly operated out of Pataudi in Haryana.
Haryana had the second lowest sex ratio at birth (877) among the 29 states, preceded only by Delhi (866) according to the 2011 Census.
In March 2017, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar claimed that the state’s sex ratio at birth had touched the 950 mark (950 girls against 1000 boys) for the first time in the state’s history.
At 863, Haryana’s Rohtak district had the lowest sex ratio at birth in the state, as per the state government.
“Easy accessibility from Haryana and lack of stringent checks could be reasons touts are bringing people here for such tests. The department needs to build a strong information network to curb the trend,” a senior official from the health department, who did not want to named, said.
In both the cases, the hill state’s health department was caught off guard about the activities, with the Haryana health department taking lead in gaining inputs and alerting their Uttarakhand counterparts.
Navin Baluni, health advisor to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat (who also holds the health portfolio), said such activities were being led by agents hailing from outside the state, which made tracing the culprits difficult.
“The government is committed to ensuring implementing of the PCPNDT Act and instructions are being given to health and police officials to keep an eye on and carry out strict monitoring for its violation.”