Agra: Recently, a police team from Bikaner raided an ultrasound center in Agra that was being operated by a senior radiologist Dr Amit Kumar. The raid was conducted following a sting by the police to determine the involvement of Dr Amit in sex-determination test. Interrogation revealed that pregnant women were being brought from as far as Bikaner in Rajasthan to this ultrasound center in Agra, where Dr. Amit used charge a hefty fee.
The Indian Medicos Association (IMA) Agra chapter has expressed its shock and concern over the possible involvement of Dr Amit in this sex-determination racket and in an official statement, the medical community has dissociated itself with the said doctor, who is currently in custody of the Bikaner Police. Interrogation has also revealed that the agents that brought these pregnant women to the center were paid as much as Rs 7000-10000 as commission.
According to Indian Radiological and Imaging Association Agra chapter chairman Dr. Bhupendra Ahuja, there are a total of 275 ultrasound machines registered in Agra and all radiologists have to conform to the regulations against sex-determination as the sex of a foetus can only be determined through an ultrasound machine when the foetus is at least 12 weeks in age and after that age, aborting a pregnancy could be dangerous for the woman. Also, any abortion of more than 4 weeks in age needs a doctor’s recommendation under the current legal guidelines governing abortions.
When India Today spoke to Dr. Amit, he confessed that he was involved in sex-determination and code words were used instead of written report to announce the sex of the child. Male child was called Ganesh, while female was called Laxmi. If someone requested a written report, ‘B/6’ denoted ‘Boy’ while G/9 denoted ‘Girl’.
IMA Agra chapter President JN Tandon said that the IMA will soon setup a Whatsapp Helpline against sex-determination where complaints could be filed with proofs against the black sheep of the medical community, who were involved in this horrid practice.
Agra District Magistrate Pankaj Kumar said that the administration is conducting surveys of all registered ultrasound clinics through various means and such surveys will now become a regular feature instead of being occasional, so that the administration maintains a firm check on such practice. The Chief Medical Officer of Agra has been instructed to mark all suspected clinics and double the vigil, which will hopefully bring positive results soon.
Senior physician Dr SK Kalra said that Agra ranks 4th in Uttar Pradesh, in such cases of sex-determination and it was in full knowledge of administrative officials, but large sums of money exchanged hands to prevent such centers from being shut down. As a result, Agra had become the hub of sex-determination for people from Rajasthan, who were coming to Agra for ultrasound, when Rajasthan had cheaper and better health services than UP.