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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

CM orders probe into sex surgeries

Amrita U Kadam & Ranjan Srivastava, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, June 29, 2011
First Published: 00:39 IST(29/6/2011) | Last Updated: 01:25 IST(29/6/2011)

Outrage and call for laws to deal with sex-change surgeries performed in Indore on little girls grew more strident on Tuesday.

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Madhya Pradesh CM and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) ordered inquiries into the issue, which was reported by HT on Sunday.

“I have asked the chief secretary (Avani Vaish) to form a panel of experts to ascertain if such a thing is happening in Indore and if the practice is illegal,” chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told HT on Tuesday.

Asked who would be in the committee, Chouhan said, “Our state does not have many experts. So doctors from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences or other reputed institutes could be part of the committee.”

On Sunday, HT reported genitoplasty, a sex change operation, was being conducted on girls aged 1 to 5 years to turn them into boys. Doctors conducting the operations claimed the internal sex organs of these girls did not match their external genitalia.

Reacting to a complaint from the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights based on the HT report, the NHRC, meanwhile, has asked the state chief secretary and the director general of police to send a report within two weeks.

The Indian Medical Association has called for legal guidelines on the issue. “Our country has a big problem of sex ratio and son preference of parents,” said IMA secretary general Dr DR Rai.

Medico-legal expert and Mumbai lawyer Amit Karkhanis told HT he may file a public interest litigation in the Bombay HC. “Not everything can be covered by law and there has to be some ethics involved.”

International media reacts

International newspapers like The Telegraph, UK and Daily Mail, UK, and the Sydney Morning Herald have followed up the HT report. A host of renowned newspapers and television channels from the US, UK, Japan and Australia have also contacted HT.

An excerpt from the report published in The Telegraph on Tuesday: Dr VP Goswami, the president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics in Indore, described the disclosures as shocking and warned parents the procedure would leave their child impotent.

“Genitoplasty is possible on a normal baby of both sexes but later on, these organs will not grow with the hormonal influence and this will lead to infertility and impotency. It is shocking news and we will be looking into it and taking corrective measures,” he said.  HTC

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