Officials record Erode girl's statement who was forced for illegal surrogacy
Officials from the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services held an inquiry with the 16-year-old Erode girl who allegedly was forced to sell her embryo for illegal surrogacy.
COIMBATORE: Officials from the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services held an inquiry with the 16-year-old Erode girl who allegedly was forced to sell her embryo for illegal surrogacy. A six-member team headed by A Viswanathan, joint director of medical and rural health services, visited the government home where the girl is housed and conducted the inquiry, which lasted for three hours.
Sources said the officials received a statement from the girl, but refused to reveal details. “We have to hold inquiry in the hospitals which are mentioned by the victim. Other than in Erode, she named a few hospitals in neighbouring districts,” Viswanathan said.
He added that licence of the hospitals concerned would be revoked and legal action will be taken against those involved if they were found to have indulged in malpractice. Every hospital should adhere to the guidelines of The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill while getting donations of embryo for surrogacy, Viswanathan added.
The girl was sexually assaulted for over five years and forced into selling her embryo by her mother and a man she was in a relationship. The incident came to light on June 1 when the girl who was unable to bear their harassment, escaped from the home and lodged a police complaint.
The mother of the girl, allegedly allowed her paramour to sexually assault the girl after she attained puberty at the age of 12. Helped by an agent, the two sold embryos to various hospitals in Erode, Salem, Perundurai and Hosur. To avoid age-related legal issues, they created an Aadhaar card mentioning the girl’s age as 22. More than eight times, they had made the minor sell her embryo. On each sale, the duo received Rs 20,000 and the agent Malathi got Rs 5,000 as commission, police said.
Based on the complaint, Erode south police arrested the mother, her paramour, agent Malathi and A John who helped them to tamper with the victim’s aadhaar credentials to show her age as 22. They were booked under several sections of the POCSO Act, IPC and Aadhaar Act.
Meanwhile, Erode police summoned officials from two private hospitals in connection with the case on Friday and the staff from one of the hospitals at Perundurai appeared for inquiry on Saturday. The inquiry was held for more than four hours and they submitted documents related to the embryo donations.
‘Named more hosps’
A Viswanathan, joint director of medical and rural health services said, “We have to hold inquiry in hospitals mentioned by the victim. She also named hospitals in neighbouring districts.”