DMS team begins probe into girl being forced to sell oocytes

It will visit hospitals in Erode and a few other districts and conduct inquiries with their staff members

June 05, 2022 06:09 pm | Updated June 06, 2022 01:51 am IST - ERODE

A six-member team from the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services (DMS) held an inquiry here for three hours on Sunday with a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly forced to sell her oocytes to private hospitals through a forged Aadhaar card.

Four persons, including the girl’s mother and her companion, were arrested last week.

A team, led by A. Viswanathan, Joint Director of Medical and Rural Health Services (ACTs), visited the government home at R.N. Pudur where the girl is lodged. The team includes M. Kamalakannan, Junior Administrative Officer; G.S. Gomathi, Joint Director of Health Services, Erode; and three doctors.

Speaking to media persons, Mr. Viswanathan said the statement of the girl was recorded; based on it, the team would visit hospitals in Erode and a few other districts and conduct inquiries with their staff members and record their statements. The team would also verify the records related to the case. “Since the case has been registered under the POCSO Act, we cannot disclose further details,” he said.

Asked what action would be taken against hospitals if they were in the wrong, Mr. Viswanathan said their licences would be cancelled and if the role of doctors was established, action would be taken against them.

The team is expected to visit a few private hospitals in Perundurai, Salem and Hosur in the next three days; thereafter, it would likely submit a report.

In her complaint to the Erode South police, the girl said her mother separated from her father when she was three years old and had since been living with A. Syed Ali, 40. She said she was sexually assaulted by Syed Ali for five years. She was taken to hospitals where her oocytes had been sold eight times since 2017. Her mother and Syed Ali received ₹20,000 for each visit to hospital, while intermediary K. Malathi, 36, received ₹5,000 in commission. A. John, 25, prepared a new Aadhaar card with a different name and 1995 as her year of birth for the purpose.

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