Three decoy operations between April 14 and May 7 have exposed a well-connected sex determination racket active in Shekhawati region comprising Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Churu districts. Six people were arrested during the operations.
On April 19, Rajasthan Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (PCPDNT) cell conducted a raid in Jhunjhunu district and arrested an auxilliary nurse named Bhanumati, who was working as an agent of the racket.
After getting a tip-off, police sent two women constables as bogus customers who faked pregnancy before the nurse. The accused took them in a car that shuttled between Ratangarh and Dungargarh before passing through Dungarsinghpur towards Oontwalia, when a PCPNDT team chased the vehicle carrying seven women and held Bahnumati and driver Pawan Sharma. Police recovered Rs 77,500 and two mobile phones from Bhanumati.
On May 6, the PCPNDT cell nabbed two persons for performing illegal sex determination at a house in Basedi Khurd village of Sikar district with help of a bogus customer. Agent Ashok Gurjar and Pramod Sharma were arrested while accused Harish Gurjar and Satish Sharma managed to escape. The next day, the department held Dr Harphool Singh and a nurse at a government hospital at Pura ki dhani in Sikar district for involvement in the racket.
Data from PCPNDT cell state 14 out of 33 decoy operations from 2009 have been conducted in Shekhawati region. Consequently, child sex ratio (0-6 years) in Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Jaipur and Churu districts are 837, 848, 861 and 902 females per thousand males respectively.
PCPNDT state authority and mission director, National Health Mission, Naveen Jain said, “It is surprising that educated and financially well-off residents of Shekhawati are leading this trend. The agents are smart as they swap vehicles carrying pregnant women, change routes to fool trackers and reach some village where a quack waits with a sonography machine.”
Social activist Rajan Choudhary said, “People in Shekhawati are affluent and fund their sources involved in illegal sex determination. Persons doing the job are paid in the Rs 25,000-Rs 35,000 range. They conduct about five sonographies per day.”
“Besides Shekhawati, people are also arrested in Jaipur. Illegal sex determination also takes place in Kota, Jodhpur and Udaipur, although with lesser intensity,” added Choudhary.