A woman caretaker of an ultrasound scanning centre was among the four people arrested for conducting pre-natal sex-determination test, during a raid by a team from Haryana, here on Wednesday.
Interestingly, the centre is officially closed since 2010 when the couple owning it moved abroad.
The accused have been identified as centre caretaker Gurmail Kaur; Jagtar Singh and Gurpreet Kaur of Moga; and Ram Dass of Dabwali in Haryana.
A joint team of Haryana Police and doctors sent a pregnant woman as a decoy customer to the centre and arrested the accused as soon as the test was conducted. The scan was performed by caretaker Gurmail, a Class 8 dropout. She allegedly broke the seal of the ultrasonography machine. The decoy customer paid marked currency notes totalling Rs 30,000 in lieu of the job, which were recovered in parts from the accused.
Sirsa deputy civil surgeon Dr Viresh Bhushan, who was part of the raiding team, said, “Ram Dass of Dabwali was the tout. The money paid by the patient was recovered in parts from the accused—Rs 2,000 from Gurmail; Rs 6,000 from Jagtar; Rs 12,000 from Gurpreet and Rs 10,000 from Ram Dass.”
“Ram Dass is out on bail in a similar case registered against him,” said Dr Bhushan.
Dr Rajesh Kumar, another doctor of the team, said, “Gurmail did determine the sex of the foetus. It is a matter of investigation whether she knew how to operate the machine.”
Gurmail, however, said, “I took Rs 2,000 for the work. I only pressed a few buttons without realising the consequences.” Ram Dass said it was for the first time that I did such a thing and his nephew Jagtar said he was there on Ram Dass’ insistence and knew nothing.
Baranal station house officer (city) Devinder Singh said, “A joint team of doctors from Sirsa, CID and CIA from Dabwali raided the centre. As the centre owner stays abroad, caretaker Gurmail misused the machine by breaking the seal.”
Deputy superintendent of police Palwinder Singh Cheema said, “Our only task was to provide protection to the raiding team. A case under the relevant sections has been registered against the four accused.”
Baranal civil surgeon Dr Kaushal Singh Saini said, “The machine was sealed in 2010 at the request of the doctor. We check the seals bi-annually. Prima facie, it seems that Gurmail misled customers and didn’t actually know how to conduct the test.”
“A woman, Manpreet Kaur, was sitting there. She claimed herself to be Gurmail niece. However, we have found that she was a registered nurse in Punjab. We have asked the police department to check her antecedents,” said Dr Saini.
“One more pregnant woman with her two companions was also sitting there. But no case can be made out against them,” said Dr Saini.
Senior superintendent of police Gurpreet Singh Toor said, “We are checking the backgrounder of the pregnant woman and her companions.”
When civil surgeon Dr Saini was asked how come officers in Haryana had knowledge of the illegal activity going on at the centre, but the local health authorities had no clue, he did not reply.