Tamil Nadu

Abortion racket busted

A quack’s lab: The house where the accused were performing abortions in Tiruvannamalai.

A quack’s lab: The house where the accused were performing abortions in Tiruvannamalai.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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Three arrested from their Tiruvannamalai house in an early morning operation

A vigilance team from the Directorate of Medical Services nabbed Anandhi, who performed illegal sex-selective abortions for women from across the State, in her two-storied house in Tiruvannamalai during the early hours of Sunday.

The woman’s husband Tamil Selvan, who works in the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, and an autorickshaw driver, who helped ferry customers were also arrested. The police are hunting for her son, Jawahar.

According to sources, Anandhi, 50, who has completed her Class 12, was running the illegal racket, initially on Sengottuvan Street in Tiruvannamalai. She was arrested in 2012 and 2016 for the offence. “After her arrest in 2016, she came out on bail in a few months. She, Tamil Selvan and Jawahar moved to a two-storied house in Ponnusamy Nagar, Vengikal in Tiruvannamalai. The house had the lab on the first floor, a residential facility on the second floor and even a swimming pool on the terrace,” said the vigilance team members.

She then purchased a high-end scanning machine and started her business in January, said a police officer. The vigilance team received information about her and monitored the house.

Decoy patient

“We sent a pregnant woman to her house as a decoy. Initially, her son chased her away, but after much pleading he gave Anandhi’s number,” said M. Kamala Kannan, Superintendent in the vigilance team.

She asked the decoy to go to the Tiruvannamalai bus stand and gave the phone number of Sivakumar, an autorickshaw driver, who doubled up as a broker. The driver picked her up and took her to Anandhi’s house.

A team led by Thomas Prabhakar, Assistant Commissioner in the vigilance team, S Natarajan, radiologist, from Government Hospital, Cuddalore, Mr. Kamalakannan and others raided the house.

“The woman was made to lie on the floor and scanning was done. She was informed about the child’s gender. We nabbed Anandhi and checked her phones.

“A few more couples had called her for abortions and we picked them up from the bus stand and took them for an inquiry,” said Mr. Kamala Kannan.

Hefty charge

Further interrogation revealed that she charged ₹6,000 for an abortion. Out of this she paid ₹2,000 to Sivakumar. “She does the illegal abortions only at night to prevent getting detected. She switches off the lights too,” he said.

All three were booked under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act and remanded in judicial custody.

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Printable version | Nov 21, 2019 9:06:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/abortion-racket-busted/article25649794.ece

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