Bhopal homeopath arrested for illegal termination of minor rape survivor’s pregnancy
He has been arrested for allegedly terminating a 14-year-old girl’s pregnancy illegally in 2018 at the behest of a vernacular daily’s owner who is accused of raping and sexually harassing minor girlsUpdated: Sep 02, 2020, 14:22 IST
The Madhya Pradesh police have arrested a homoeopath in Bhopal for allegedly terminating a 14-year-old girl’s pregnancy illegally in 2018 at the behest of a vernacular daily’s owner, who is accused of raping and sexually harassing minor girls, an investigator said on Wednesday.
Hemant Mittal, 48, the homoeopath, was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act after his arrest on Tuesday night.
The alleged abortion came to light after the owner of the vernacular daily, Pyare Mian, 68, was arrested on July 17 days after five minor girls were spotted in an intoxicated state in Bhopal. During counselling, the girls alleged Mian, who had been allegedly abusing them for years, had invited them to a party and allegedly raped one of them. Four minor girls from Bhopal and Indore later registered a rape and sexual harassment case against Mian.
Inspector Anil Bajpai said Mittal runs a hospital and Mian paid him Rs20,000 for the illegal abortion. “The girl, who is now 16, lodged a complaint...against Pyare Mian on July 16 that he and his friend, Ubez Khan, raped her three times. Mian had taken the girl to Srinagar, where she came to know about her three-month pregnancy.” He added Mian got the girl’s pregnancy confirmed at a hospital in Indore after returning from Srinagar and sought to terminate it. Bajpai said the doctors he approached for abortion refused to do so, citing the girl’s age and its illegality without the due process.
“Mian asked his assistant...to look for a doctor in Bhopal to abort the foetus. ...[the assistant] took the girl to the hospital of Mittal for abortion and Mittal aborted the foetus,” said Bajpai. He added police were interrogating Mittal and further investigation was on.
The district administration was planning to get the hospital sealed for illegal medical practices.
“Mittal had also conducted sonography of the girl before conducting the abortion,” said deputy inspector general Irshad Wali.
Police said Mian’s assistant, Sweety Vishwakarma, would allegedly lure girls from underprivileged families to Mian in the name of getting jobs, then invite them to parties and sexually abuse them after offering them liquor.
Activist Sarika Sinha said under POCSO Act, a doctor in such cases is required to report pregnancy to police, chief medical and health officer of the district concerned. “Mittal should have informed the authorities,” said Sinha. “MTP Act allows only registered and qualified doctors to terminate pregnancy resulting from rape. As he [Mittal] is a homeopath and does not have qualification to terminate pregnancy, so he has violated MTP Act too.”