A doctor responsible for 900 illegal abortions with his lab technician was arrested by the Bengaluru Police on November 28. Dr Chandan Ballal and Nisar orchestrated the illegal abortions at a Matha Hospital in Mysuru for over three months, charging Rs 30,000 per procedure. Dr Chandan Ballal's the ninth arrest made by the Karnataka police who have been on the lookout for over two months for perpetrators of the abortion racket.
The suspects have been booked under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act and IPC Section 312 (causing miscarriage). About two weeks ago, the manager of Matha Hospital, Meena, and the receptionist, Rizma Khan were arrested. On October 15, two suspects, Shivalinge Gowda and Nayan Kumar, who were involved in sex-determination and female foeticide, were caught by the police. The police told Deccan Herald that they believe that a doctor from Chennai, Dr Tulsiram, who has also been arrested, colluded with Dr Ballal to initiate the abortion racket.
Illegal Abortions and Sex-Determination
Police told Deccan Herald that the case of this abortion racket has been ongoing for several months, with unregistered scanning machines and medical staff involved in the case coming to the surface frequently. Arrested suspects Shivalinge Gowda and Nayan Kumar disclosed to the police that they ran an ultrasound scan centre in a jaggery-making unit in Mandya town. Police found a portable scan machine that neither had the stipulated authorisation sticker nor the registration number.
According to the police, the machine can only be registered in the name of a doctor and can be used only on authorisation from the District Health Officer (DHO). While such machines come with registered numbers, police found that the sticker was removed, and neither of the suspects had any information on the details of the machines. Two scanning machines have been seized so far.
“Dr Tulasiram’s mother used to do abortions. He later took it up as a side business with Ballal,” a police officer told Deccan Herald. Police believe the machine was sourced from an electronic goods repairer identified as Siddesh, who is currently absconding. The police also suspect that a relative of Dr Ballal, Veeresh, was offered a commission for referring couples looking to abort if they were unhappy with the gender of the foetus.