The Centre on Tuesday said Bihar and Chhattisgarh had initiated investigation into the alleged removal of uterus of BPL women as part of a fraud to corner insurance money.

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad laid a copy of his statement, made in response to a calling attention motion sponsored by a host of MPs led by Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan, in the Rajya Sabha after he was not allowed to read it in the din the BJP raised over the scam in the allocation of coal blocks.

Mr. Azad said the Bihar government had ordered an inquiry by district magistrates against hospitals where the cases of hysterectomy account for more than 25 per cent of the surgeries performed there.

Stressing that these surgeries were not conducted under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), he added that 16,765 hysterectomies were performed under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and that removal of uterus accounted for more than 15 per cent of the surgeries performed under RSBY in Bihar.

He said Bihar had informed the Centre that these surgeries were performed in private institutions and that the most affected districts were Samastipur and Madhubani.

In Chhattisgarh, the government suspended nine doctors but later revoked the suspensions on the condition that they not conduct any hysterectomy till the completion of enquiry. It has also ordered that no hysterectomy should be performed on any woman below 40 without the permission of the Chief Medical Officer.