After a viral video showed four women performing an abortion procedure on an unconscious minor in a decrepit house using household equipment, the Gujarat police have mounted a huge investigation and the role of a private hospital is also being probed.
Although the timing of the incident that reportedly took place in Santrampur village of Mahisagar district is yet to be verified, its horrifying contents cannot be denied.
Vibes of India is in possession of the original video but it is too gory to be put up in the raw form. In it, the women can be seen performing the crude procedure on what looks to be a girl barely 14-15 years old.
It is clear that the women were paid to do it and that the girl’s family may have been involved. The video shows the four women using scissors and crusted household equipment on the minor girl in an old decrepit house reportedly behind the FCI godown in Santrampur village.
One woman in the video believed to be a nurse at a private hospital – presumably the Priyal Hospital – located barely 100 metres from the seemingly deserted building – is seen trying to abort the foetus while the other women hold the girl tightly. The girl was seemingly administered an anaesthetic that rendered her unconscious. Sources tell Vibes of India that it is possible the injection was administered at the nearby hospital and the girl was then brought to the abandoned house for the abortion.
When contacted, Dr. Minesh Shah, a gynaecologist at Priyal Hospital, refused to comment.
“I am busy, please call a little later,” he said tersely.
After the video was leaked to the media, Chief District Health Officer (CDHO) Swapnil Shah was asked to probe its authenticity.
Shah, accompanied by Dr. J K Patel, chairman of the district MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) committee, was at the village when VoI contacted them.
Shah told Vibes of India, “I am already at the spot to investigate as it is a serious matter.”
He thinks the video is old. “I have been told the video could be six months old. We have to first check its veracity and initiate suitable action, be it six months old or of yesterday. This is serious.”
When contacted, Mahisagar Superintendent of Police RP Barot told Vibes of India, “The health officers have informed us of the video. We have sent a team led by PSI Parth Rathod, along with the health officers to the village, to look into the matter.”
PSI Rathod, who returned from the spot, told Vibes of India, “The video appears old but it is genuine and the incident did take place. We have found the house in Santrampur.”
“The woman performing the abortion has been identified as Kaliben Vinodbhai Sangada of Kherva village, who works as a nurse at the Priyal Hospital. The health team has collected some tablets from the spot but no equipment or instruments were found,” Rathod added.
Shah also confirmed the use of the tablets. “We have recovered some tablets, which shows that it might have been used to perform an abortion. No other instrument was found.”
Asked about the nurse, Shah told VoI, “That woman seems to have disappeared; she has not visited the house for the last 15 days.”
On whether they would file a police complaint against Priyal Hospital authorities, he said a decision will be taken only after the investigation proceeds further and their role is clear.
Late in the evening, Inspector C P Bhoi of Santrampur police station said an FIR under section 25 of Medical Practitioners Act and section 4 and 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP), 1971, was registered.
Bhoi said the video seemed to be around one year old. “We came to know about the incident from the locals who informed us that this video was doing the rounds on social media for the last one year.”
Santrampur police station sources said they had also recorded the statement of son of Aarif Musa, landlord of the apparently deserted house, while the nurse who was performing the procedure had been identified.
She had rented their house and had disappeared for the last 15 days. Police officers said they would record the statement of authorities of the hospital on Sunday where the nurse was working for 15 years. We will show them the video and try to identify the remaining three women seen in the video.”