When a Pune-based doctor refused to bend the rules and perform an illegal abortion, he had to pay a heavy price.
On late Saturday night in Pune’s Sangvi area, Dr. Amol Bidkar, a gynaecologist at the Sakhi Maternity Centre, was attacked with a long-bladed weapon (‘koyta’) after he refused to terminate the five-month pregnancy of a young woman.
“A man had approached Dr. Bidkar a fortnight ago to perform the operation, but he refused on grounds that it was illicit as the foetus was more than 20 weeks old. On Saturday, at around 9 p.m., a gang of ruffians led by the man broke into his clinic and pressed him to reconsider. One person stood outside the doctor’s cabin while one stood out on watch outside the clinic. When Dr. Bidkar flatly refused, he was assaulted with a sharp weapon and sustained injuries on his shoulder. Fortunately, he is out of danger,” Dr. Pradeep Nanaware, president, Sangvi-Pimple Gurav Doctors Association told The Hindu.
Almost 20 days ago, when the doctor examined the young woman, he realised that she was around four-and-a-half months pregnant. He told them that aborting the fetus at this stage would pose a risk to the woman’s life. But, the man began insisting the doctor to perform the abortion. Anyways, citing the rules, the doctor denied.
According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, abortion of fetuses is allowed only up to 20 weeks.
After the attack on Saturday night, a number of doctors from the Sangvi-Pimple Gurav Doctors association gathered at the Sangvi police station on Sunday morning and demanded that the culprits must be nabbed immediately. A complaint has been lodged under sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to Assistant inspector B A Nanaware, neither were there any CCTV cameras inside the hospital nor were they able to get CCTV footage from around the hospital. The Police are trying to track down the mobile phone from which the suspect had contacted Dr. Bidkar, a week ago.