Indian police have arrested a surgeon suspected of involvement in the death of 13 women who died after sterilization procedure. It is reported by The Hindustan Times.
Police said that 59-year-old doctor R.K. Gupta was arrested 70 kilometers from the town of Bilaspur in Madhya Pradesh, where the tragedy occurred. The surgeon told journalists that he has been made a scapegoat. He claimed that the operations were carried out perfectly, and women died due to the fact that they were given expired medicines. The state government has already banned the sale of four kinds of medicines until the investigation is complete.
On Saturday, November 8, Gupta had operated upon more than 80 women within less than three hours. 13 of them died after the surgery, 20 are still in critical condition. There is already opened a criminal case against the doctor on the fact of death due to negligence.
Meanwhile, The Indian Express reported that on Wednesday there was another operation. This time in Pendari of Bilaspur, 26 women were sterilized within less than an hour, one of them died this night.
The story is interesting by the fact that some of the operated women belong to the Baiga tribe living in the state of Madhya Pradesh. By the direct order of the Government of India, the tribal members are prohibited from being sterilized, as their population is constantly decreasing. However, according to the Indian journalists, local authorities forced them to go for the surgery.
Operations were carried out at the medical center within the state program for the birth control. In India, women are paid 1,4 thousand rupees ($ 23) for sterilization. If the patient's husband agrees to be operated on too, the couple may get a home appliance or a car from the state government. Health workers also receive 200 rupees ($ 3.25) for convincing a woman to undergo the corresponding procedure.
About four million people, mostly women undergo sterilization in India every year.