Patna: Bihar Police were Tuesday looking for the directors of a voluntary organisation that conducted a health camp where three unqualified volunteers performed tubectomies on 53 women without anaesthesia and proper medicines, officials said.
The camp was organised by the Jai Ambe Welfare Society at Kaparfora village in Araria district, about 350 km from here, last Saturday. The three volunteers -- Ramanand Jha, Gopal Jha and Prakash Jha -- who allegedly conducted the surgeries on the women, including young girls and old women, in just two hours were arrested Monday.
The women, amongst the poorest of the poor, developed complications after the camp but were lucky to survive, officials said.
On Tuesday, police raided the homes of the Purnia-based NGO`s directors Kumar Nath Jha and Vidya Nath Bishwas and seized the seals of doctors, civil surgeons and government officials, said Araria Superintendent of Police Shivdeep Lande.
"Both directors of the NGO, the main culprits, are absconding but police will conduct more raids to arrest them," Lande said.
He disclosed that CDs seized from the houses of the two directors reveal that tubectomies were performed on even minor girls and aged women.
"I was shocked to see how they performed surgeries in open without anaesthesia and proper medicines," the police officer said.
"It was beyond my imagination but three of them appeared to have performed surgeries within two hours. It was in violation of all norms. Action will be initiated against the NGO that organised the camp for family planning operations," Lande said.
That was not all.
According to Lande, expired medicines were distributed to the women.
District health officials alleged the NGO wooed poor women in Kaparfora by offering to pay Rs.600 per head and free medicines. All the surgeries were performed in the absence of a qualified doctor at camp.
Police learnt about the incident after some relatives of the affected women complained.
"Some relatives of the women informed police... Their condition deteriorated soon after the surgeries were performed. Later, all of them were admitted to the district hospital for treatment," Lande said.
An official of the NGO defended the volunteers, and said on condition of anonymity that the surgeries were performed by a surgeon and not by the three who had been arrested.
The Jai Ambe Welfare Society has been made the nodal agency to perform family planning operations in the district.
Araria civil surgeon Dr Husne Ara admitted that there was an acute shortage of surgeons in the district but the government had fixed the target of 28,000 family planning operations a year. "It was not possible to meet the target without involving NGOs in family planning operations," she said.
Tubectomy, also referred to as tubal ligation, is a surgical procedure for sterilisation involving the tying up of fallopian tubes as a permanent method of contraception.