Foetus skulls, bones found buried: Police suspect illegal abortions at hospital

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After 12 skulls and 54 bones, suspected to be of foetuses, were found in the backyard of Kadam hospital in Arvi city of Wardha district, local police on Saturday said that it suspects more abortions were carried out at the hospital than those mentioned in the records.

A probe is on to find out if the hospital, run by the Kadam family, carried out illegal abortions.

A special team of doctors from Wardha civil hospital on Saturday afternoon visited the hospital to conduct an inspection after 11 skulls and 54 bones were found in a pit dug for a bio gas plant in the hospital backyard earlier this week. On Friday, a team from the Nagpur forensic lab found one more skull, taking the total to 12.

“We are inspecting the hospital’s licenses and all documents related to the abortions, medicines used and whether proper procedures were followed. We will submit a detailed report to District Civil Surgeon Dr Sachin Tadas for further action,” said a team member.

The Kadam hospital, as per local residents, is one of the oldest hospitals in Arvi. Established in the 1970s, it is owned by Kumar Singh Kadam, son of former Wardha Congress MP Jagjivanrao Kadam. Kumar, his wife Shailaja, son Niraj and daughter-in-law Rekha are all doctors and reside in the hospital premises.

Sources said that following rumours that illegal abortion of a 13-year-old girl, who was five months’ pregnant, the police tracked down the girl. Following this, Rekha Kadam and two nurses from the hospital were arrested for carrying out the abortion. While Rekha is in judicial custody, Niraj is being questioned, said police. Shailaja, meanwhile, has been admitted to a hospital with low blood pressure complaints and her husband Kumar is looking after her at the hospital, said sources.

A police officer privy to the investigation told The Indian Express, “The license to carry out abortions was given to Shailaja Kadam but her daughter-in-law, Rekha, carried out the abortion, which is not permissible. We have also found a large quantity of tablets (contraceptive pills)… trying to find out how they procured the same.”

“We have found registers in which they have listed all the abortions done legally. We suspect more abortions were done illegally. Even the nurses are not qualified. One nurse has studied up to SSC. We are questioning them to get leads,” the officer added.

While the police have maintained that the girl’s mother voluntarily approached them, a family member, however, said that the police landed on their doorstep, following which the entire matter came to light.

The girl’s aunt told The Indian Express, “At first we feared social stigma but now we are relieved because she has been admitted to a hospital… she was bleeding (after the abortion). Before the police came, we had kept her at home after she was discharged from Kadam hospital. We have no money to treat her but now the government is paying for her treatment.”

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