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Female Foeticide Scam unearthed in Karnataka: Five arrested, including doctors and lab technicians

Bengaluru: The Bengaluru police’s investigation has uncovered a sophisticated operation leading to the arrest of Dr Tulsi Ram (from Chennai), Dr. Chandan Ballal (owner of Matha Ayurvedic Piles Daycare Hospital), his wife Meena, receptionist Rizma Khan, and lab technician Nissar for allegedly performing illegal abortion. The racket was running for over two years, where an estimated 22 to 25 illegal abortions were performed monthly at Matha Hospital in Mysuru. The operation was allegedly well-orchestrated, preying on the vulnerability of pregnant women seeking sex determination and abortion services.

The investigation began on October 15 when Byappanahalli Police attempted to stop a suspicious vehicle during a routine check. The driver apprehended after a chase disclosed information about the illegal abortions, leading to the subsequent bust of the sex-determination and female foeticide racket. Earlier arrests in Mandya, near Mysuru, had already implicated individuals involved in ferrying pregnant women for abortions. Each abortion is reportedly charged between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000, with the accused setting a target of conducting 1,000 abortions per year to maximise profits. The police revealed that Rizma and Meena coordinated with previously arrested individuals, such as Veeresh, Nayan Kumar, Siddesh, Shivalinge Gowda, to ensure smooth operations, from conducting tests in Mandya to performing abortions in Mysuru.

The accused reportedly targeted pregnant women seeking sex determination for their foetus and negotiated deals with them. Once a deal was struck, the women were directed to Mandya, where a converted jaggery processing unit served as an ultrasound scan centre. If the foetus was identified as female, the women were then referred to Matha Hospital in Mysuru for the illegal abortion. Authorities discovered that the accused had set up the ultrasound scan centre in a remote farmland in Mandya, disguising it as a jaggery unit to avoid suspicion from villagers. The facility operated discreetly, with the rural community remaining unaware of its true purpose. The investigations conducted by the Karnataka police commissioner, B Dayanand, revealed that the accused had performed approximately 3,000 illegal abortions to date. In the last three months alone, 242 female foetuses were allegedly aborted as part of this racket. The shocking scale of the operation underscores the urgent need for stricter monitoring and enforcement of laws related to sex determination and abortion. Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao chaired a meeting at Vidhana Soudha with the officials of Department of Health and Family Welfare wherein the reported female foeticide cases in the state was discussed. Minister Rao directed officers to provide the necessary information and initiate preventive measures.