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Abortion racket busted in Maharashtra’s Solapur; doctor couple arrested

Preliminary police investigation reveals that the couple was involved in carrying out at least 36 abortions in the past few years.

pune Updated: Aug 27, 2017 16:38 IST
Solapur,Maharashtra,doctor couple
The doctors, Tejas Gandhi and Priya Gandhi, have been remanded to police custody. (HT PHOTO)

Solapur police have arrested a doctor couple for carrying out illegal abortions. Preliminary police investigation reveals that the couple was involved in carrying out at least 36 abortions in the past few years.

The action was taken jointly by the police and officials of health department on Friday in Akluj in Solapur district of western Maharashtra. The doctors, Tejas Gandhi and Priya Gandhi, have been remanded to police custody.

Tejas Gandhi (HT PHOTO)

Police suspect a bigger racket and the possibility that the foetus may have been buried by the parents after abortion.

Akluj PI Arun Savant, who is investigating the case, did not rule out the possibility of a bigger racket. He told HT that police are not ruling out the arrests of more people.

Preliminary police investigation has revealed that Dr Gandhi used to hand over the aborted foetus to the parents. “We are scrutinising the list of women, who have undergone abortion and each case would be traced independently,” Savant said. Police feel that parents might have destroyed the foetus after the abortion.

Solapur police said the Gandhi couple was illegally running Siya Maternity Home in Akluj town of Solapur district where sex determination tests and abortions were carried out. The maternity home was raided and police seized papers as evidence.

Priya Gandhi (HT PHOTO)

Action was taken when officials of neighbouring Satara district alerted their counterparts in Solapur. Satara police had found a buried foetus near Shirval on the river bank a few days ago. Investigation by Satara police found that a couple from Wai had buried the foetus near the river bank. The couple was later arrested.

Information given by the couple led to the arrest of the Solapur doctors in Akluj. The maternity home was raided immediately by the officials. The couple has been arrested under The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

Police officials said that the doctor couple did not cooperate during the interrogation, claiming that they were practising legally. Police will now study the sonography machine and papers, which have been seized from the maternity home.

Tejas Gandhi, along with his father Pradip, was arrested for the same offence in 2007. Police record shows that Tejas worked as a technician during the abortion. While his father was sentenced to imprisonment, Tejas was acquitted of the charges by Bombay high court.

Second case

This is the second major case in western Maharashtra, involving a doctor running a suspected racket of abortion of unwanted babies. In March this year, Dr Babasaheb Khidrapure, a homoeopath doctor, was arrested by Sangli police. Dr Khidrapure ran a systematic racket and is alleged to have buried 19 infants in the backyard of his nursing home at Mhaisal near Miraj. More than ten persons, including doctors, medical representatives, chemist shop owner and agents were arrested in the case.

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 16:22 IST