Hyderabad, May 29 (IANS): The police in Telanganas Warangal district have arrested 18 people, including four doctors and the owner of a private hospital, on charges of conducting pre-natal sex determination tests and illegal abortions.
According to the police, the gang was aborting female fetuses illegally at different places in the district in collusion with some hospitals. The gang was busted in a joint operation conducted by the Warangal police along with the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) and the health department.
During the raid, the police seized sex determination scanning machines, Rs 73,000 in cash, and 18 cellphones from the accused.
Those arrested include four doctors and medical staff. They have been booked under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) of 1994 and other relevant Acts.
Warangal Police Commissioner A.V. Ranganath told a news conference that two suspects are still at large.
The arrested persons have been identified as Vemula Praveen, Vemula Sandhyarani, Dr Balne Pardhu, Dr Moram Aravinda, Dr Moram Srinivas Murthy, Dr Balne Purnima, Balne Pradeep Reddy, Kaita Raju, Talla Arjun, Pranai Babu, Keerthy Mohan, Balne Asalatha, Kongara Renuka, Bhukya Anil, Chengelli Jagan, Gannarapu Srilatha, Bandi Nagaraju, and Kasiraju Dileep.
The prime accused, Vemula Praveen and his wife Sandhyarani, were running a secret scanning centre at Narsampet town.
The police also found that the prime accused was previously apprehended by the Hanamkonda police on similar charges when he was working as a technician at a scanning centre, but he continued to engage in illegal activities.
The police conducted the latest operation following complaints received from some people. A sting operation was also conducted to catch the accused red-handed.
As per the plan, a woman sub-inspector was sent to the accused on the pretext of abortion which helped the police bust the gang.
Investigations revealed that Praveen had established connections with private liaison officers, public relations officers, hospital management, as well as various medical personnel, including registered medical practitioners (RMPs) and private medical practitioners (PMPs) in Narsampet, Nekkonda, Hanamkonda, Warangal and other places.
The illegal abortions were conducted at four private hospitals in the district.
The police found during the investigation that even ayurveda practitioners were conducting abortions. The accused and their agents had also spread their network to the rural areas and were conducting sex determination tests using portable machines.
The Commissioner said the accused were charging Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 for each abortion. The police believe that the gang may have conducted about 200 abortions.