Karnataka: Health officials raid Belagavi hospitals after dead foetuses found

Belagavi District Commissioner Nitesh Patil said, "Of the seven foetuses recovered, six were male and one was female."

BySaurav Kumar

Published Jun 28, 2022 | 1:42 PM Updated Jul 22, 2022 | 12:47 PM

Foetus (Representative image)

A day after seven foetuses were recovered from the Mudalgi town in the Belagavi district of Karnataka, health department officials raided several hospitals, clinics, and scanning centres across the district on Saturday, 24 June, to find out if they were engaged in gender determination.

Belagavi Deputy Commissioner Nitesh Patil ordered the raids after the foetuses were found in a stream.

Patil said, “Of the seven foetuses recovered, six were male, and one was female. As per our initial investigations, we have learnt that the foetuses had congenital disorders, and the abortions were conducted in the interest of the health of the mothers.”

He added: “Necessary legal actions under the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 have been initiated.”

As per local reports, a team led by District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Mahesh Kone and the local police raided two hospitals, including Navajeevana Hospital and Venkatesh Maternity Hospital, in the evening.

Venkatesh Maternity Hospital’s owner Dr Veena Kanakareddy told South First, “The foetuses suffered presented with gross congenital anomalies. They were preserved but were accidentally disposed of by hospital staff. The incident is unfortunate.”

She added: “The district administration has ordered an inquiry into the matter, and I am ready to cooperate with the authorities.”

A sub-inspector from the Mugaladi Police Station said, “A case has been registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 31. No one has been named in the FIR till now.”

He added that they are waiting for the forensic report. “Once we get the forensic reports, action against the hospital will be taken,” he said.

This is the second such incident reported from the district in a decade. At least 13 foetuses were found on the banks of the Hiranyakeshi river in 2013.