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Maharashtra government forms committee to probe illegal abortion cases

By Faisal Malik, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON SEP 28, 2020 11:47 PM IST

The Maharashtra government on Monday formed a four-member committee to investigate cases of illegal abortions at hospitals across the state.

The committee, which will be headed by retired IPS officer Ajit Parasnis, has been mandated to submit its report within a month after an incident and also make recommendations to stop them. Parasnis is the former director general of police (DGP) and retired from the position in 2011. Dr Subhash Salunkhe, former director health services; an expert professor in gynaecology and an assistant director of health services will be the other three members of the committee.

Under the existing laws, abortions can’t be conducted after the 20-week limit. Despite that, Dr Varsha Lahade, a gynaecologist at Nashik civil hospital, was accused of having carried out an abortion on a 24-week-old foetus in March 2017. The gynaecologist and another resident doctor were booked by the Nashik police under sections of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and the Indian Penal Code. The same year, the police had found 19 female foetuses from a sewer in a village in Sangli district of western Maharashtra.

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