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Doctors among 18 arrested as police bust illegal sex determination and abortion racket

Warangal : In a joint operation by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), Health Department officials, and the Kakatiya University Campus (KUC) police the Warangal police busted an illegal prenatal sex determination and abortion racket which has performed 100 plus illegal abortions. The crackdown resulted in the arrest of 18 person which include five gynecologists and two ayurveda doctors. The gang, which included private and government doctors, was engaged in the unlawful termination of female fetuses across various locations in the Warangal district, reportedly in collaboration with certain hospitals. According to the Commissioner of Police, AV Ranganath, the arrested individuals have been charged under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) of 1994 and other relevant legislation. During the operation, authorities seized sex-determination scanning machines, 18 cellphones, and Rs 73,000 in cash from the accused.

The prime accused of the racket is Vemula Praveen, and his wife, Sandhyarani who were found to be operating a clandestine scanning center in Narsampet town. Praveen had previously faced apprehension by the Hanamkonda police on similar charges while working as a technician at another scanning center. Despite this, he continued to engage in illegal activities. Investigations unveiled Praveen’s extensive network, which included liaisons with private and public hospital management, registered medical practitioners (RMPs), private medical practitioners (PMPs), as well as other medical personnel in Narsampet, Nekkonda, Hanamkonda, Warangal, and surrounding areas. Illegal abortions were reportedly conducted at four private hospitals within the district.

Further inquiry revealed that even Ayurvedic doctors were involved in performing abortions. The accused and their agents had expanded their operations to rural regions, utilizing portable devices for sex determination tests. The police estimate that the gang may have executed more than 100 illegal abortions. Each abortion reportedly carried a price tag ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. Notably, the police successfully infiltrated the gang by deploying a woman sub-inspector under the guise of seeking an abortion, which ultimately aided in their operation to dismantle the racket.