Rusty surgical equipment and contaminated medication are thought
to have caused the deaths of at least 13 women who underwent sterilisation
operations in central India.
At least twelve more women are in a critical condition as a result of a
government-run sterilization program in the state of Chhattisgarh.
According to sources, a case has been registered with the police by the
local government, accusing the doctor who performed the surgeries, R.K. Gupta,
of causing death by negligence. The doctor has reportedly denied wrongdoing.
Tubal ligation, also known as a tubectomy, is a popular surgery in India,
with the government offering financial incentives for women who undergo the
procedure in a long-running effort to reduce the nation's expanding population.
Government guidelines stipulate that a doctor may only perform 30 such
operations a day, but R.K. Gupta is reported to have performed the surgery on at
least 80 women, all under the age of 32, at an abandoned private hospital in
just a few hours last Saturday.
Gupta is also accused of having used rusty surgical
tools. "Preliminary reports show that the medicines administered were
spurious and also the equipment used was rusted," said a local government