Militating against his Hippocratic oath, Dr Mohammad Imtiaz of Jaipur, Rajasthan, was helping parents detect the sex of foetuses, helping them detect and abort would be girl-children until he was caught earlier this week. Dr Imtiaz allegedly aborted thousands of foetuses and even rendered many women unreproductive in the process before being caught red-handed.
A special team of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) led by inspector Jitendra Gangwani, under the supervision of the director of the National Health Mission, Dr Jitendra Soni, arrested Dr Imtiaz in Jaipur.
In a decoy operation, the doctor was arrested on charges of conducting sonography to reveal the sexes of foetuses in District Jodhpur on 22 April. The PCPNDT cell arrested two of his agents too and seized an illegal portable sonography machine, two vehicles and recovered Rs 70,000 from their possession, which was given to them for conducting sonography for revealing the sex of the foetus of a pregnant woman, who acted as a decoy under the decoy operation.
Soni, the National Health Mission (NHM) state mission director, said they had received information that a gang was active in Jodhpur that was participating in female foeticide on a large scale. To catch them red-handed, the police and health department teams collaborated to set up the decoy operation.
A team of the PCPNDT cell led by police inspector Jitendra Gangwani went to Jodhpur. They included a pregnant woman, who acted as a decoy, in the team. The informer had told the PCPNCT cell that a certain Bhanwar Lal Jangid, a resident of Dhoriyon Ki Dhani near Paal Balaji in Jodhpur, was an agent of the doctor allegedly involved in sex determination activities.
The pregnant woman, who was part of the decoy operation, contacted Jangid and expressed her willingness of knowing the sex of the foetus. Soni said Jangid demanded Rs 70,000 for it.
PCPNDT project director Suresh Yadav said Jangid had taken the woman riding a two-wheeler to a rented residence of Ashok Prajapati at Khene Ka Kuan. When the pregnant woman signalled the PCPNCT cell team, inspector Gangwani raided the house where doctor Mohammad Imtiaz (45), a resident of Kamla Nehru Nagar, Jodhpur, was found with a portable sonography machine, which is illegal.
PCPNCT cell officials said four cases had already been filed against the doctor. The accused doctor was posted as block chief medical officer and currently, he is a suspended doctor.
Dr Imtiaz has not been arrested for the first time. This is the fifth occasion. Dr Imtiaz would go to jail on the charge of illegal abortions time and again, and after coming out of jail, he would resume the criminal activity without an iota of remorse or repentance for the evil act.
Dr Imtiaz allegedly used tongs and pliers for medical terminations of pregnancies. The PCPNDT declared him a habitual offender.
Before being caught the fifth time, Dr Imtiaz had conducted a total of 1,158 foetal tests. He was first arrested in 2016. Then again in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before now. In 2019, the health department and Rajasthan Police proclaimed he was a habitual, repeat offender.
Members of the PCPNDT team informed reporters about a hospital where Dr Imtiaz operated: Abu Mohammad Niyaz. A sister of his is a doctor too. His father, Dr Mohammad Niyaz, was arrested thrice for similar crimes in the years 2012, 2014 and 2016 — the third time while in the act. By then, the family had made lakhs worth of ill-gotten rupees.
The team of PCPNDT said that on 15 August 2016, Mohammad Niyaz went to jail for the third time for a few days and came out clean thereafter, withdrawing from the medical practice. Thereafter, there has been no major complaint against him. But then, his son took off from where he had left.
Dr Imtiaz was caught for the first time on 7 October 2016, just 45 days after his father’s third arrest on 15 August that year.
At the time of the latest arrest of Dr Imtiaz, he was conducting an embryo test at his accomplice Dr Balesar’s house. The team of PCPNDT said that Dr Imtiaz never conducted foetal tests in hospitals out of the fear of getting caught. On most occasions, police arrested him from houses, hotels and moving vehicles of his accomplices.