Graveyard of unborn daughters
Over 100 female foetuses dug out of well near Patiala
Tribune News Service
Patran (Patiala), August 9
A mass grave of female foetus was detected today in a
vacant plot owned by quacks Pritam Singh, an
ex-serviceman and his wife Amarjit Kaur of this town,
by a high-level team of state health authorities after
it raided the premises of the local Sahib Hospital run
by these quacks. They had been allegedly involved in
illegal abortions for the past many years.
Residents of this town bordering Haryana, who were
quite shocked, took out a march in the city to lodge
protest against the anti-social activities of the
quack couple. They also demanded that the couple
should be given exemplary punishment. They also
alleged that though health authorities were aware
about illegal happenings that were taking place in the
Sahib Hospital for the past many years, but no action
was taken by them for the reasons best known to them.
Dr Varinder Singh Mohi, Civil Surgeon, Patiala, who
led the raiding team, said it was difficult to tell
the exact number of female foetus and placentas
recovered from a deep and narrow well, which had been
turned into a graveyard for female foetus by the
accused, as the remains of placentas and foetus were
extremely decomposed. Unconfirmed reports said that
their number could cross over hundred.
Information gathered by TNS revealed that district
health authorities had been trying to find out the
exact number of female foetus, which had been dumped
by the quack couple into the well, located in a vacant
plot adjacent to their clinic, in the past many years
after performing illegal abortions in their
triple-storey clinic on the Patiala-Patran main road.
Dr Mohi, while confirming the registration of a
criminal case under MTP Act against the quack couple
and their subsequent arrest, said that as per a
statement by two woman workers of that clinic made
before the raiding team, the husband-wife duo had
carried out about 35 illegal abortions and
subsequently dumped 35 female foetus in that deep well
in the past three months.
Not only this, acting swiftly on the situation, the
district health authorities, with the help of district
administration, also sealed an ultrasound centre
located in Samana town, which was carrying out the
pre-natal sex determination tests and subsequently
sending pregnant women carrying females to Sahib
clinic for illegal abortions.
Some instruments, used for carrying out abortions,
were also recovered from that centre. A case against
the owner of the centre had been registered. Another
team had been sent to another ultrasound centre of
Dirba town of Sangrur district, which was also
allegedly involved in the similar activities.
Mr Rakesh Kumar Verma, Deputy Commissioner, who gave
all help to the raiding team, said that the case
against the quack couple was being made fool-proof so
that it could be taken to logical end.
Information revealed that one of the female workers,
who was working in the hospital, spilled the beans
after she developed some differences with the quack
couple over payment of her salary. She disclosed
everything to some prominent citizens, who then
reported the matter to the district administration and
When a raid was conducted at the clinic, the raiding
team came to know that a well located in the vacant
plot situated adjacent to the clinic was being used as
a dumping ground for the female foetus.
Mr Munish Kumar, SDM, who coordinated the operation,
said at first some poisonous gases were removed from
the deep and narrow well. Then a trained man was sent
inside the well. After about four to five hours, the
man, who had gone inside the well, managed to bring
some remains of placentas and foetus. Some glass jars,
suspected to be containing some material connected
with abortions, were also recovered. He added that the
Civil Surgeon, Patiala, would be taking appropriate
action in this regard.
A woman worker of Sahib hospital identified as Pooja,
while talking to TNS said that illegal abortions were
being performed on married women only. She added that
quack couple had been charging Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000
per case from the persons concerned.
Meanwhile, the remains of placentas and foetus, which
had been dug from the well, had been sent to the
pathology laboratory at Rajindra Medical College for
histopathological examinations to know their exact
Official figures revealed that so far the district
health authorities had sealed about 12 ultrasound
centres for their alleged involvement in conducting
the sex determination test of foetus and five clinics,
which were involved in carrying out illegal
termination of pregnancy in the current year.