TIRUVANNAMALAI/CHENNAI: Health authorities and police raided an illegal sex determination laboratory functioning at Ponnusamy Nagar in Tiruvannamalai at midnight Saturday and arrested three persons, including a couple.
Based on a tip-off, officers from Tamil Nadu Medical and Rural Health Services, Chennai, visited Tiruvannamalai on Saturday.
They swooped down on the lab found to be run without due permissions. “We seized machinery at the lab and sealed it,” said Joint Director of Medical Services, Tiruvannamalai, Dr D Pandian, who led the raid.
Fifty-one-year-old T Anandhi, her husband Tamilselvan, 52, and an autorickshaw driver, Sivakumar, 42, who allegedly acted as a broker, were booked under Sections of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and IPC and arrested. They were remanded to judicial custody. Anandhi had been imprisoned in 2014 and 2016 and was out on bail.
Inquiries revealed that Anandhi, who had gained knowledge from having worked at hospitals, charged 6,000 for a single test and had paid the broker 2,000 for each case he brought to the laboratory, police said. She had allegedly been running the laboratory from a three-storey house at Ponnusamy Nagar for a few months.
Police said that this was the third time she was being arrested. She had been imprisoned twice in 2014 and 2016 and was out on bail. In 2016, officials found abortions were being performed on the open terrace of the three-storey building. The officials caught the woman red-handed, and rescued the pregnant women who had been given abortion pills and were made to wait on the terrace. Officials sent three of the women to the Tiruvannamalai Government Medical College Hospital.
When the foetuses of the three women were expelled at the hospital, they were found to be female, confirming the suspicion that this was a case of female foeticide. It is stated that Anandhi at present had been referring those who wanted an abortion if the foetus was found to be female, to some other place. On Sunday, even after being detained, she received about 20 calls on her mobile requesting sex-determination tests, officials noted.